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^mSmm^iS^9°-  ^  ^'"dy  <"  race  ret 

3  1924  011   411   877 




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COPYIUGHT  1922  By 
The  University  of  Chicago 

All  Rights  Reserved 

Published  September  1922 

Second  Impression  January  1923 

Third  Impression  March  1923 



'•■    ''  ',\ 

**■      Composed  and  Printed  By   "^V/^.  **', 
/  The  University  of  Chicago  Press     ' 

r  Cblcafi:o,  Illinois,  V.S.A. ' 



List  of  Illustrations 

List  of  Maps 

Foreword  by  Honorable  Frank  O.  Lowden 


The  Problem 

Chapter  I.    The  Chicago  Riot,  July  27-AuGUST  2,  1919 
Background  of  the  Riot  . 
The  Beginning  of  the  Riot      . 
Chronological  Story  of  the  Riot 
Factors  Influencing  Growth  of  the  Riot 
Gangs  and  "Athletic  Clubs 
Types  of  Clashes 
Crowds  and  Mobs 




Deputy  Sheriffs 

Restoration  of  Order 

Aftermath  of  the  Riot 

Outstanding  Features  of  the  Riot 

Chapter  II.    Other  Outbreaks  in  Illinois 
Clashes  in  Chicago  preceding  the  Riot  of  19 19 
Racial  Outbreaks  in  Waukegan,  May  31  and  June  2,  1920 
The  "Abyssinian"  Affair,  June  20,  1920 
The  Barrett  Murder,  September  20,  1920 
The  Springfield  Riot,  August  14-15,  1908 
East  St.  Louis  Riots,  May  28,  and  July  2,  1917 

Chapter  III.    The  Migration  of  Negroes  from  the  South 
Economic  Causes  of  the  Migration 
Sentimental  Causes  of  the  Migration 
Beginning  and  Spread  of  Migration 
The  Arrival  in  Chicago  . 
Adjustments  to  Chicago  Life . 
Migrants  in  Chicago 
Efforts  to  Check  Migration    . 

Chapter  IV.    The  Negro  Population  of  Chicago 

Distribution  and  Density 

Neighborhoods  of  Negro  Residence 






















Adjusted  Neighborhoods ^^^ 

"^     Non-adjusted  Neighborhoods "3 

Neighborhoods  of  Organized  Opposition nS 

Bombings 122 

Trend  of  the  Negro  Population I3S 

Outlying  Neighborhoods 136 

The  Negro  Community i39 

Commerdal  and  Industrial  Enterprises 140 

Organizations  for  Social  Intercourse 141 

Religious  Organizations 142 

Social  and  Civic  Agencies 146 

Medical  Institutions       .       .    , 150 

Chapter  V.    The  Negro  Housing  Problem 152-230 

General  Living  Conditions 152 

Why  Negroes  Move        .              iS4 

Room  Crowding 156 

Rents  and  Lodgers 162 

How  Negro  Families  Live 165 

A  Group  of  Family  Histories 170 

Physical  Aspects  of  Negro  Housing 184 

Neighborhood  Improvement  Associations 192 

Efforts  of  Social  Agencies 193 

Negroes  and  Property  Depreciation 194 

Financial  Aspects  of  Negro  Housing 215 

Negroes  as  Home  Owners 216 

Financial  Resources  of  Negroes 227 

Chapter  VI.    Racial  Contacts 231-326 

Legal  Status  of  Negroes  in  Illinois 232 

Discrimination  in  Public  Schools 234 

Contacts  in  Chicago  Public  Schools 238 

Physical  Equipment  of  Schools 241 

Retardation  in  Elementary  Schools 256 

Contacts  in  Recreation 271 

Contacts  in  Transportation 297 

Contacts  in  Other  Relations 309 

"Black  and  Tan"  Resorts 323 

Cultural  Contacts 323 

.^^^  Contacts  in  Co-operative  Eflforts  for  Race  Betterment    ....  326 

Chapter  VII.    Crime  and  Vicious  Environment 327-356 

Criminal  Statistics 328 

The  Negro  in  the  Courts 332 

Bureau  of  Identification 335 

Probation  and  Parole 335 

Institutional  Inquiry 338 



Negro  Crime  and  Environment 341 

Views  of  Authorities  on  Crime  among  Negroes 345 

Chapter  VIII.    The  Negro  in  Industry      .  3S7-43S 

Employment  Opportunities  and  Conditions 357 

Increase  in  Negro  Labor  since  1915 362 

Classification  of  Negro  Workers 364 

Wages  of  Negro  Workers 365 

Women  Employees  in  Industrial  Establishments      ....  367 

Railroad  Workers 369 

Domestic  Workers 370 

Employers'  Experience  with  Negro  Labor 372 

Negro  Women  in  Industry 378 

Industries  Excluding  the  Negro 391 

Relations  of  White  and  Colored  Workers 393 

Future  of  the  Negro  in  Chicago  Industries 400 

Organized  Labor  and  the  Negro  Worker 403 

Pohcy  of  the  American  Federation  of  Labor  and  Other  Federations  405 

Unions  Admitting  Negroes  to  White  Locals 412 

Unions  Admitting  Negroes  to  Separate  Co-ordinate  Locals     .       .  417 

Unions  Excluding  Negroes  from  Membership 420 

The  Negro  and  Strikes 430 

Attitude  and  Opinions  of  Labor  Leaders 432 

Chapter  IX.    Public  Opinion  in  Race  Relations 436-519 

A.    opinions  or  whites  and  negroes 

BeUefs  Concerning  Negroes    ....  437 

Primary  BeUefs 438 

Secondary  Beliefs 443 

Background  of  Prevailing  Beliefs  Concerning  Negroes     ....  443 

Types  of  Sentiments  and  Attitudes 451 

The  Emotional  Background 451 

Abstract  Justice       .       .  454 

Traditional  Southern  Background 456 

Group  Sentiments .       .  456 

Attitudes  Determined  by  Contacts 457 

Self-Analysis  by  Fifteen  White  Citizens 459 

PubHc  Opinion  as  Expressed  by  Negroes 475 

Race  Problems 478 

Abyssinians 480 

A  Negro  and  a  Mob 481 

Defensive  Policies 484 

Race  Consciousness 487 

Opinions  of  Fifteen  Negroes  on  Definite  Racial  Problems       .       .       .  493 

Are  Race  Relations  Improving  ? 494 

Opinions  on  Solution       .    , 495 

Social  Adjustments 502 



Negro  Problems S^S 

Defensive  Philosophy 5°^ 

Segregation  and  Racial  Solidarity S°9 

Opinion-making 5^4 

Chapter  X.    Public  Opinion  in  Race  Reiations 520-594 


The  Press ...  520 

General  Survey  of  Chicago  Newspapers 523 

Intensive  Study  of  Chicago  Newspapers 531 

Newspaper  Policy  Regarding  Negro  News  ...  .       .  547 

The  Negro  Press .  556 

Classification  of  Articles .       .  557 

Negro  Newspaper  Policy 563 

Rumor 568 

Myths 577 

Propaganda .  587 

Conclusions 594 

Chapter  XI.    Summary  op  the  Report  and  Recommendations  of  the 

Commission ....  595-651 

The  Chicago  Riot 595 

The  Migration  of  Negroes  from  the  South 602 

The  Negro  Population  of  Chicago 605 

Racial  Contacts 613 

Crime  and  Vicious  Environment 621 

The  Negro  in  Chicago  Industries 623 

Public  Opinion  in  Race  Relations 629 

Opinions  of  Whites  and  Negroes 629 

Factors  in  the  Making  of  Public  Opinion 634 

The  Recommendations  of  the  Commission         ...  640 

Appendix 652 

Biographical  Data  of  Members  of  the  Commission 652 

The  Staff  of  the  Commission 653 

Epitome  of  Facts  in  Riot  Deaths 655 

Table  Showing  Number  of  Persons  Injured  in  Chicago  Riot  by  Date 

and  by  Race 667 

Index 669 




Whites  and  Negroes  Leaving  Twenty-ninth  Street  Beach       .       .       .  iii 
Crowds  Armed  with  Bricks  Searching  for  a  Negro      ...             .12 

Whites  Stoning  Negro  to  Death 12 

The  Arrival  oe  the  Police 12 

Scenes  from  Fiee  in  Immigrant  Neighborhood 16, 22, 28 

Negroes  Leaving  Wrecked  House  in  Riot  Zone     .       .             ...  16 

Wrecked  House  or  a  Negro  Family  in  Riot  Zone 28 

Negroes  and  Whites  Leaving  the  Stock  Yards      .             .             .       .  28 

Negroes  Being  Escorted  to  Safety  Zone 34 

Searching  Negroes  for  Arms  in  Police  Station 34 

Negroes  Buying  Provisions  Brought  into  Their  Neighborhood      .       .  40 

The  Militia  and  Negroes  on  Friendly  Terms 4° 

Negro  Stock  Yards  Workers  Receiving  Wages      ...             .  44 

Buying  Ice  from  Freight  Car -44 

Milk  Was  Distributed  for  the  Babies -48 

Provisions  Supplied  by  the  Red  Cross .       .  48 

Propaganda  Literature  Used  by  "Abyssinians" 60 

After  the  "Abyssinian  Murders" 64 

Typical  Plantation  Homes  in  the  South 80 

Negro  Family  Just  Arrived  in  Chicago 92 

Negro  Chuiich  in  the  South 92 

Racial  Contacts  among  Children 108 

A  Savings  Bank  in  the  Negro  Residence  Area 112 

CmiDREN  AT  Work  in  a  Community  Garden 112 

Damage  Done  by  a  Bomb 128 

A  Negro  Choral  Society ....  136 

Olivet  Baptist  Church 140 

St.  Mark's  M.E.  Church 140 

Trinity  M.E.  Church  and  Community  House 146 

South  Park  M.E.  Church 146 

Pilgrim  Baptist  Church 146 

The  Chicago  Urban  League  Building 150 

The  South  Side  Community  Service  Building 150 

Homes  Owned  by  Negroes  on  South  Park  Avenue 188 




An  Abandoned  Residence  in  the  Prairie  Avenue  Block     .       .       .       .188 

Homes  Occxtpied  and  in  Part  Owned  by  Negroes 194 

Homes  Occupied  by  Negroes  on  Forest  Avenue 202 

Rear  View  of  Houses  Occupied  by  Negroes  on  Federal  Street       .  202 

MosELEY  School 242 

Fabren  School 248 

Wendell  Phillips  High  School 252 

A  Typical  School  Yard  Playground  in  a  White  Neighborhood        .       .276 

Beutner  Playground 280 

Field  House  Equipment  at  Beutner  Playground 280 

Negro  Athletic  Team  in  City-Wide  Meet 280 

Friendly  Rivalry 280 

Armour  Square  Recreation  Center 286 

Beutner  Playground 286 

A  Negro  Amateur  Baseball  Team 292 

Negro  Women  and  Girls  Employed  in  a  Lamp-Shade  Factory   .  -378 

Negro  Women  Employed  on  Power  Machines 380 

Negro  Women  and  Girls  in  a  Large  Hat-making  Concern  .      .       .      -384 
OrncERS  OF  the  Railway  Men's  Benevolent  Industrial  Association     .    410 



The  Chicago  Riot 8 

Distribution  of  Negro  Population,  1910 106 

Distribution  of  Negro  Population,  1920 no 

Proportion  or  Negroes  to  Total  Population,  1910 116 

Proportion  or  Negroes  to  Total  Population,  1920 120 

Homes  Bombed 124 

Negro  Churches 144 

Social  Agenqes 148 

Homes  of  White  and  Negro  Employees 154 

Types  of  Negro  Housing 184 

A  Changing  Neighborhood 212 

Recreation  Faciuties 272 

Transportation  Contacts,  Morning  7:00  to  9:00 300 

Transportation  Contacts,  Evening  4:00  TO  6:00 300 

Houses  of  Prostitution,  1916 342 

Houses  of  Prostitution,  1918 342 

Resorts 346 

Industrial  Plants 360 



There  is  no  domestic  problem  in  America  which  has  given  thoughtful  men 
more  concern  than  the  problem  of  the  relations  between  the  white  and  the 
Negro  races.  In  earlier  days  the  colonization  of  the  Negro,  as  in  Liberia,  was 
put  forward  as  a  solution.  That  idea  was  abandoned  long  ago.  It  is  now 
recognized  generally  that  the  two  races  are  here  in  America  to  stay. 

It  is  also  certain  that  the  problem  will  not  be  solved  by  methods  of  violence. 
Every  race  riot,  every  instance  in  which  men  of  either  race  defy  legal  authority 
and  take  the  law  into  their  own  hands,  but  postpones  the  day  when  the  two 
races  shall  live  together  amicably.  The  law  must  be  maintained  and  enforced 
vigorously  and  completely  before  any  real  progress  can  be  made  towards 
better  race  relations. 

Means  must  be  found,  therefore,  whereby  the  two  races  can  Uve  together 
on  terms  of  amity.  This  will  be  possible  only  if  the  two  races  are  brought  to 
understand  each  other  better.  It  is  believed  that  such  understanding  will 
result  in  each  having  a  higher  degree  of  respect  for  the  other,  and  that  such 
respect  will  form  the  basis  for  greatly  improved  relations  between  the  races. 

The  Commission  on  Race  Relations,  composed  of  distinguished  representa- 
tives of  both  races,  has  made  the  most  thorough  and  complete  survey  of  the 
race  situation  that  I  have  seen  anywhere.  While  its  field  of  study  was  neces- 
sarily limited  to  Chicago,  the  conditions  there  may  be  regarded  as  fairly 
typical  of  conditions  in  other  large  cities  where  there  is  a  large  colored  popu- 

The  report  does  not  pretend  to  have  discovered  any  new  formula  by  which 
all  race  trouble  will  disappear.  The  subject  is  too  complex  for  any  such  simple 
solution.  It  finds  certain  facts,  however,  the  mere  recognition  of  which  will 
go  a  long  way  towards  alla3dng  race  feeling.  It  finds  that  in  that  portion  of 
Chicago  in  which  colored  persons  have  lived  longest  and  in  the  largest  numbers 
relatively  there  has  been  the  minimum  of  friction.  This  is  a  fact  of  the  first 
importance.  For  it  tends  to  show  that  the  presence  of  Negroes  in  large 
numbers  in  our  great  cities  is  not  a  menace  in  itself. 


There  is  one  recommendation  (No.  31)  to  which  I  desire  to  call  special 
attention:  that  a  permanent  local  commission  on  race  relations  be  created. 
When  as  Governor  of  Illrtiois  I  withdrew  troops  from  Chicago  after  the  riots, 
I  was  not  at  all  persuaded  that  all  danger  of  their  recurrence  was  past.  I  kept 
observers  from  the  Adjutant  General's  office  on  the  ground  to  watch  for  any 
signs  of  fresh  trouble.  The  Commission  on  Race  Relations  was  appointed, 
and  conditions  at  once  began  to  improve.  The  activities  of  this  Commission, 
composed  of  the  best  representatives  of  both  races,  were,  as  I  believe,  the 
principal  cause  for  this  improved  condition. 

Causes  of  friction,  insignificant  in  themselves,  but  capable  of  leading  to 
serious  results,  were  discovered  by  the  Commission  and  by  its  suggestion  were 
removed  in  time  to  avoid  grave  consequences.  Gross  exaggerations  of  some 
fancied  grievance  by  either  the  one  race  or  the  other  were  examined  into  and 
were  found  to  rest  upon  nothing  else  than  idle  rumor  or  prejudice.  In  the  light 
of  truth  which  the  Commission  was  able  to  throw  upon  the  subject,  these  griev- 
ances disappeared.  In  other  words,  misunderstanding,  which  had  been  so 
prolific  a  source  of  trouble  between  the  races,  was  greatly  reduced. 

The  report  contains  reconmiendations,  which,  if  acted  upon,  will  make 
impossible,  in  my  opinion,  a  repetition  of  the  appalling  tragedy  which  brought 
disgrace  to  Chicago  in  July  of  1919. 

Men  may  differ  as  to  some  of  the  conclusions  reached,  but  all  fair-minded 
men  must  admit,  I  think,  that  the  report  of  the  Commission  on  Race  Relations 
is  a  most  important  contribution  to  this  important  subject. 

Frank  O.  Lowden 


On  Sunday,  July  27,  1919,  there  was  a  clash  of  white  people  and  Negroes 
at  a  bathing-beach  in  Chicago,  which  resulted  in  the  drowning  of  a  Negro  boy. 
This  led  to  a  race  riot  in  which  thirty-eight  lives  were  lost — twenty-three 
Negroes  and  fifteen  whites — and  537  persons  were  injured.  After  three  days 
of  mob  violence,  affecting  several  sections  of  the  city,  the  state  militia  was 
called  out  to  assist  the  poUce  in  restoring  order.  It  was  not  until  August  6 
that  danger  of  further  clashes  was  regarded  as  past. 

To  discuss  this  serious  situation  and  means  of  preventing  its  recurrence, 
a  group  of  eighty-one  citizens,  representing  forty-eight  social,  civic,  com- 
mercial, and  professional  organizations  of  Chicago,  met  on  August  i,  1919, 
at  the  Union  League  Club.  Mr.  Charles  W.  Folds,  president  of  the  Club, 
presided.  Brief  addresses  were  made  by  Mr.  H.  H.  Merrick,  president  of  the 
Chicago  Association  of  Commerce,  Dr.  Graham  Taylor,  Miss  Harriet  Vittum, 
Major  John  S.  Bonner,  Mr.  Charles  J.  Boyd,  and  Rev.  William  C.  Covert. 

Resolutions  were  passed  and  given  to  the  press,  and  the  following  letter 
to  the  Governor  of  Illinois  was  authorized: 
To  His  Excellency,  Frank  0.  Lowden 
Governor  of  Illinois 

Dear  Sm:  A  meeting  was  held  today  at  the  Union  League  Club  to  take  up  the 
matter  of  the  present  race  riots. 

This  meeting  was  attended  by  81  representatives  of  48  prominent  civic,  profes- 
sional and  commercial  organizations,  such  as  Chicago  Medical  Association,  Chicago 
Bar  Association,  Federation  of  Churches,  Association  of  Commerce,  Packing  House 
Industries,  Urban  League,  Woman's  City  Club,  Chicago  Woman's  Club,  Foreign 
Language  Division,  representing  foreign-bom  population,  etc. 

A  resolution  was  adopted  unanimously,  appointing  the  undersigned  as  a  com- 
mittee to  wait  upon  you  and  ask  that  you  appwint  at  your  earliest  convenience  an 
emergency  state  committee  to  study  the  psychological,  social  and  economic  causes 
underlying  the  conditions  resulting  in  the  present  race  riot  and  to  make  such  recom- 
mendations as  will  tend  to  prevent  a  recurrence  of  such  conditions  in  the  future. 

The  committee  would  welcome  an  opportunity  to  meet  you  at  any  time  convenient 
to  yourself  and  to  talk  over  with  you  details  and  give  you  such  information  as  has 
been  gathered  through  these  various  organizations. 


Charles  W.  Folds 
Graham  Taylor 
William  C-  Graves 
Harriet  E.  Vittum 
T.  Arnold  Hill 
Felk  J.  Strkyckmans 


In  response  to  this  and  other  urgent  requests  by  various  citizens  and 
organizations,  and  pursuant  to  his  personal  knowledge  of  the  situation  derived 
from  investigations  made  by  him  in  Chicago  during  the  period  of  the  riot, 
Governor  Lowden  announced  on  August  20,  1919,  the  appointment  of  a 
Commission  on  Race  Relations,  consisting  of  twelve  members,  six  from  each 
race,  as  follows — Mr.  Bancroft  being  designated  by  him  as  chairman: 

Representing  the  white  people:  Edgar  A.  Bancroft,  William  Scott  Bond, 
Edward  Osgood  Brown,  Harry  Eugene  Kelly,  Victor  F.  Lawson,  Julius  Rosen- 

Representing  the  Negro  people:  Robert  S.  Abbott,  George  Cleveland 
Hall,  George  H.  Jackson,  Edward  H.  Morris,  Adelbert  H.  Roberts,  Lacey 
Kirk  Williams.' 

In  announcing  the  appointment  of  this  Conmiission,  Governor  Lowden 
made  public  the  following  statement: 

I  have  been  requested  by  many  citizens  and  by  many  civic  organizations  in 
Chicago  to  appoint  a  Commission  to  study  and  report  upon  the  broad  question  of 
the  relations  between  the  two  races.  These  riots  were  the  work  of  the  worst  element 
of  both  races.  They  did  not  represent  the  great  overwhelming  majority  of  either  race. 
The  two  are  here  and  wiU  remain  here.  The  great  majority  of  each  realizes  the 
necessity  of  their  living  upon  terms  of  cordial  good  wiU  and  respect,  each  for  the  other. 
That  condition  must  be  brought  about. 

To  say  that  we  cannot  solve  this  problem  is  to  confess  the  failure  of  self- 
government.  I  offer  no  solution  of  the  problem.  I  do  know,  however,  that  the 
question  cannot  be  answered  by  mob  violence.  I  do  know  that  every  time  men, 
white  or  colored,  take  the  law  into  their  own  hands,  instead  of  helping  they  only 
postpone  the  settlement  of  the  question.  When  we  admit  the  existence  of  a  problem 
and  courageously  face  it,  we  have  gone  half-way  toward  its  solution. 

I  have  with  the  utmost  care,  in  response  to  the  requests  above  set  forth,  appointed 
a  Commission  to  undertake  this  great  work.  I  have  sought  only  the  most  represent- 
ative men  of  the  two  races.  I  have  not  even  asked  them  whether  they  had  views  as 
to  how  the  question  could  be  met.  I  have  asked  them  only  to  approach  the  difficult 
subject  with  an  open  mind,  and  in  a  spirit  of  fairness  and  justice  to  all.  This  is  a 
tribunal  that  has  been  constituted  to  get  the  facts  and  interpret  them  and  to  find  a 
way  out.    I  beUeve  that  great  good  can  come  out  of  the  work  of  this  Commission. 

I  ask  that  our  people,  white  and  colored,  give  their  fullest  co-operation  to  the 
Commission.  I  ask,  too,  as  I  have  a  right  to  ask,  that  both  races  exercise  that 
patience  and  seK-restraint  which  are  indispensable  to  seH-govemment  while  we  are 
working  out  this  problem. 

During  an  absence  of  the  chairman,  due  to  ill  health,  Governor  Lowden 
requested  Dr.  Francis  W.  Shepardson,  director  of  the  State  Department  of 
Registration  and  Education,  to  serve  as  acting  chairman.  On  Mr.  Ban- 
croft's return  and  at  the  Commission's  request,  the  Governor  appointed 
Dr.  Shepardson  a  member  and  vice-chairman  of  the  Commission. 

'  For  biographical  data  see  p.  652. 


The  Commission's  first  meeting  was  held  on  October  9,  1919.  Nine  other 
meetings  were  held  during  the  remainder  of  that  year  to  canvass  the  possible 
fields  of  inquiry,  and  to  provide  for  the  organization  of  studies  and  investiga- 

The  Commission  was  seriously  handicapped  at  the  outset  by  a  complete 
lack  of  funds.  The  legislative  session  of  1919  had  ended  before  the  riot,  and 
the  next  regular  session  was  not  to  convene  until  January,  192 1.  The  Com- 
mission felt  that  it  could  not  with  propriety  seek  to  raise  funds  on  its  own 
appeal.  To  meet  this  situation  a  group  of  citizens  offered  to  serve  as  a 
co-operating  committee  to  finance  the  Commission's  inquiry  and  the  prepara- 
tion and  publication  of  its  report.  This  Committee,  consisting  of  Messrs. 
James  B.  Forgan,  chairman,  Abel  Davis,  treasurer,  Arthur  Meeker,  John  J. 
Mitchell,  and  John  G.  Shedd,  gave  effective  aid,  being  most  actively  assisted 
by  Messrs.  R.  B.  Beach  and  John  F.  Bowman,  of  the  staff  of  the  Chicago 
Association  of  Commerce.  Without  the  co-operation  of  these  gentlemen  and 
the  resulting  financial  assistance  of  many  generous  contributors  the  Com- 
mission could  not  have  carried  on  its  work.  It  here  expresses  its  most  grateful 

The  Commission  organized  its  staff,  inviting  Mr.  Graham  Romeyn  Taylor, 
as  executive  secretary,  and  Mr.  Charles  S.  Johnson,  as  associate  executive 
secretary,  to  assume  charge  of  the  inquiries  and  investigations  under  its 
direction.    They  began  their  work  on  December  7,  1919. 

While  the  Commission  recognized  the  importance  of  studying  the  facts 
of  the  riot,  it  felt  that  even  greater  emphasis  should  be  placed  on  the  study 
and  interpretation  of  the  conditions  of  Negro  hfe  in  Chicago  and  of  the  relations 
between  the  two  races.  Therefore,  after  a  brief  survey  of  the  data  already 
collected  and  of  the  broad  field  for  its  inquiries,  it  organized  into  six  com- 
mittees, as  follows:  Committee  on  Racial  Clashes,  Committee  on  Housing, 
Committee  on  Industry,  Committee  on  Crime,  Conamittee  on  Racial  Contacts, 
Committee  on  Public  Opinion. 

Along  all  these  lines  of  inquiry  information  was  sought  in  two  general  ways : 
through  a  series  of  conferences  or  informal  hearings,  and  through  research 
and  field  work  carried  on  by  a  staff  of  trained  investigators,  white  and  Negro. 
Thus  both  races  were  represented  in  the  membership  of  the  Commission, 
in  its  executive  secretaries,  and  in  the  field  and  office  staff  organized  by  the 
executive  secretaries. 

It  is  not  without  significance  that  in  securing  office  quarters  the  Com- 
mission found  several  agents  of  buildings  who  decUned  to  make  a  lease  when 
they  learned  that  Negroes  as  well  as  whites  were  among  the  prospective 
tenants.  They  stated  their  objections  as  based,  not  upon  their  own  preju- 
dices, but  upon  the  fear  that  other  tenants  would  resent  the  presence  of  Negroes. 
Office  space  at  118  North  La  Salle  Street  was  leased  to  the  Commission  by  the 
L.  J.  McCormick  estate,  beginning  February  i,  1920.    When  these  offices 


were  vacated,  May  i,  192 1,  the  agents  of  the  estate  informed  the  Commission 
that  no  tenant  of  the  building  had  complained  of  the  presence  of  Negroes. 

By  March  i,  1920,  the  staS  of  investigators  had  been  organized  and  was 
at  work.  The  personnel  was  recruited  as  far  as  possible  from  social  workers 
of  both  races  whose  training  and  experience  had  fitted  them  for  intelligent 
and  S3nn.pathetic  handling  of  research  and  field  work  along  the  lines  mapped 
out  by  the  Commission.' 

The  period  of  investigations  and  conferences  or  informal  hearings  lasted 
until  November,  1920.  The  work  of  compiHng  material  and  writing  the 
various  sections  of  the  report  had  begun  in  October,  1920.  Including  its 
business  meetings  and  thirty  conferences  the  Commission  held  more  than 
seventy-five  meetings;  forty  of  these  were  devoted  to  the  consideration  of 
the  text  of  the  report. 

The  executive  secretaries  with  their  staff  collected  the  materials  during 
1920,  and  soon  after  presented  the  first  draft  of  a  report.  This  was  considered 
and  discussed  by  the  Commission  in  numerous  sessions,  and  the  general  out- 
lines of  the  report  were  decided  upon.  Then  a  second  draft,  in  accordance 
with  its  directions,  was  prepared  by  subjects,  and  a  copy  was  submitted  to 
each  member  of  the  Commission  for  suggestions  and  criticisms.  Afterward 
the  Commission  met  and  discussed  the  questions  raised  by  the  different 
members,  and  determined  upon  the  changes  to  be  made  in  substance  and  form. 
After  the  entire  report  had  been  thus  revised,  the  Commission  in  many  con- 
ferences decided  what  recommendations  to  make.  These  recommendations, 
with  a  summary  of  the  report,  were  then  prepared,  and  were  reviewed  by  the 
Commission  after  they  had  been  sent  to  each  member.  After  fuU  consideration 
they  were  further  revised  and  then  adopted  by  the  Commission.  In  all  these 
conferences  upon  the  report,  all  of  the  Commissioners,  with  one  exception, 
conferred  frequently  and  agreed  unanimously.  Mr.  Morris,  on  account  of 
his  duties  as  a  member  of  the  Constitutional  Convention,  did  not  attend  any 
of  these  conferences  upon  the  report,  siunmary,  or  recommendations,  and 
does  not  concur  in  them. 

The  Commission  received  the  cordial  assistance  of  many  agencies,  organiza- 
tions, and  individuals.  The  Chicago  Urban  League  placed  at  its  disposal  a 
large  amount  of  material  from  its  files.  It  also  gave  a  leave  of  absence  to 
the  head  of  its  Department  of  Research  and  Investigation,  Mr.  Charles  S. 
Johnson,  the  Commission's  associate  executive  secretary.  Many  citizens, 
representing  widely  divergent  lines  of  interest,  who  were  invited  to  attend 
conferences  held  by  the  Commission,  gave  most  generously  of  their  time  and 
knowledge.  The  L.  J.  McCormick  estate  donated  three  months'  office  rent. 
Messrs.  George  C.  Nimmons  &  Company,  architects,  contributed  valuable 
services,  including  study  and  supervision  by  Frederick  Jehnck  of  their  office,. 

■  The  members  of  this  staff,  with  the  previous  training  and  experience  of  each  are 
listed  in  the  Appendix,  p.  653. 


in  preparing  maps  and  charts  designed  to  present  most  effectively  data  collected 
by  the  Commission.  The  Federal  Bureau  of  the  Census  made  available 
advanced  data  from  the  1920-21  censuses.  Superintendent  Peter  A.  Morten- 
sen  and  many  principals  and  teachers  in  the  Chicago  public  schools  co-operated 
in  the  extensive  studies  of  race  relations  in  the  schools;  and  the  Committee  of 
Fifteen  provided  a  report  showing  important  facts  in  the  study  of  environment 
and  crime.  The  various  park  boards,  many  municipal,  county,  and  state 
officials,  superintendents  and  others  coimected  with  industrial  plants,  trades- 
union  officers,  and  leaders  in  many  civic  and  social  agencies  greatly  f  aciUtated 
investigations  in  their  respective  fields.  To  all  these  the  Commission  returns 
sincere  thanks.  But,  perhaps,  the  greatest  debt  of  gratitude  is  due  Mr. 
Ernest  S.  Simpson,  who  generously  and  devotedly  gave  his  spare  time  for 
many  months  to  the  editing  of  this  report. 

The  Commission's  letter  to  Governor  Lowden  summarizing  its  work,  and 
his  answer  follow: 

January  i,  1921 

Honorable  Frank  0.  Lowden 
Governor  of  Illinois 

Sir:  FoUowing  the  race  riot  in  Chicago  in  July  and  August,  1919,  in  which 
fifteen  white  people  and  twenty-three  Negroes  were  killed  and  very  many  of  both 
races  were  injured,  you  appointed  us  as  a  Commission  on  Race  Relations  "to  study 
and  report  upon  the  broad  question  of  the  relations  between  the  two  races.''  We 
have  completed  the  investigations  planned  as  a  basis  for  this  study,  and  are  now 
preparing  a  final  report  of  our  findings,  conclusions  and  recommendations.  This 
report  wiU  soon  be  ready. 

The  Commission  began  its  work  in  October,  1919,  and  for  eleven  months  has 
had  a  staff  of  investigators  assisting  it  in  its  activities.  WhUe  devoting  much  effort 
to  the  study  of  the  Chicago  riot  as  presenting  many  phases  of  the  race  problem,  the 
Commission  has  placed  greater  emphasis  upon  the  study  of  the  conditions  of  life  of 
the  Negro  group  in  this  community,  and  of  the  broad  questions  of  race  relations. 
It  therefore  organized  itself  into  six  committees  on  the  following  subjects:  Racial 
Clashes,  Housing,  Industry,  Crime,  Racial  Contacts,  and  Public  Opinion. 

In  these  fields  the  Commission's  work  has  been  done  along  two  main  lines: 

(a)  a  series  of  conferences,  at  which  persons  believed  to  have  special  information 
and  experience  relating  to  these  subjects  have  been  invited  to  give  the  Commission 
the  benefit  of  their  knowledge  and  opinions; 

(6)  research  and  field  work  by  a  trained  staff  of  investigators,  both  white  and 
Negro,  to  determine  as  acciurately  as  possible,  from  first-hand  evidence,  the  actual 
conditions  in  the  above  fields. 

The  series  of  conferences,  numbering  thirty,  covered  a  wide  range  of  topics,  such 
as:  the  race  riot  of  1919  as  viewed  by  the  police,  the  miUtia,  the  grand  jury,  and  state's 
attorney;  race  friction  and  its  remedies;  contacts  of  whites  and  Negroes  in  public 
schools  and  recreation  places;  special  educational  problems  of  Negro  children;  Negro 
housing,  its  needs,  type,  and  financing,  and  its  difficulties  in  mixed  areas;   Negro 


labor  in  relation  to  employers,  fellow-workers,  and  trade  unions;  Negro  women  in 
industry;  the  Negro  and  social  agencies;  Negro  health;  Negroes  and  whites  in  the 
courts  and  in  correctional  institutions;  and  the  Negro  and  white  press  in  relation  to 
public  opinion  on  race  relations. 

Of  two  hundred  and  sixty-three  persons  invited,  one  hundred  and  seventy-five 
attended  these  conferences  and  presented  their  information  and  views.  They 
represented  both  races  and  various  groups  and  viewpoints;  they  included  educators 
and  teachers,  real  estate  men,  bankers,  managers  of  industrial  plants,  housing  experts, 
trades-union  leaders,  social  workers,  physicians,  park  and  playground  directors, 
judges,  clergymen,  superintendents  of  correctional  and  other  institutions,  police, 
militia,  and  other  public  officials,  and  newspaper  editors. 

The  research  and  field  work  done  by  the  staff  of  investigators  covered  in  general 
the  same  broad  range.  The  character  is  indicated  by  a  bare  outline  of  the  work  in 
the  six  main  fields: 

Racial  Clashes:  igig  Chicago  riot,  seventeen  antecedent  clashes;  three  minor 
clashes  in  1920;  brief  comparative  study  of  Springfield  liot  in  igo8  and  East  St. 
Louis  riot  in  1917. 

Racial  Contacts:  In  schools,  transportation  lines,  parks,  and  other  recreation 
places;  contacts  in  mixed  neighborhoods;  adjustment  of  southern  Negro  families 
coming  to  Chicago;  survey  of  Negro  agencies  and  institutions. 

Housing:  Negro  areas  in  Chicago  and  their  expansion  1910-1920;  274  family 
histories  showing  housing  experience,  home  life,  and  social  back-ground,  including 
families  from  the  South;  159  blocks  covered  in  neighborhood  survey;  financing 
Negro  housing;  depreciation  in  and  near  Negro  areas;  52  house  bombings,  1917-1920. 

Industry:  Data  covering  22,448  Negroes  in  192  plants;  loi  plants  visited; 
quality  of  Negro  labor;  the  widening  opportunities  and  chance  for  promotion  studied; 
special  study  of  trades  unions  and  the  Negro  worker. 

Crime:  PoUce  statistics  of  arrests  and  convictions  of  Negroes  and  selected 
nationaUties  compared  and  analyzed  for  six  years';  also  juvenile  court  cases;  698 
cases  (one  month)  in  three  police  courts  studied,  including  detailed  social  data  on 
Negro  cases;  also  249  sex  cases  (two  years)  in  criminal  court;  record  of  eleven  penal 
institutions;  environmental  survey  of  Negro  areas. 

Public  Opinion:  Files  of  white  and  Negro  newspapers  studied  to  analyze  handling 
of  matters  relating  to  race  relations;  study  of  rumor  and  its  effects,  and  of  racial 
propaganda  of  white  and  Negro  organizations. 

We  believe  that  the  large  volume  of  information  collected  will  prove,  when 
properly  set  forth,  of  great  value  not  only  in  Chicago  but  in  other  communities 
where  pubhc-spirited  citizens  are  endeavoring  to  establish  right  relations  between 
the  two  races.  This  end  can  be  attaiued  only  through  a  more  intelligent  appreciation 
by  both  races  of  the  gravity  of  the  problem,  and  by  their  earnest  efforts  toward  a 
better  mutual  understanding  and  a  more  sympathetic  co-operation. 

Hoping  that  our  appreciation  of  the  trust  you  have  reposed  in  us  may  appear 
in  some  measure  in  the  aid  our  report  may  give  toward  working  out  better  race 
relations,  we  are.  Very  respectfully  yours, 

(Signed  by  members  of  the  Commission  and  its  Executive  Secretaries) 

'  In  the  final  revision  of  the  report,  the  Commission  decided  that  the  police  statistics 
were,  as  a  rule,  too  unreliable  to  be  made  a  basis  of  conclusions. 


State  oe  Illinois 

oltice  of  the  governor 


January  3,  1921 
My  dear  Mr.  Bancroft: 

I  have  received  and  read  with  great  interest  your  letter  of  January  ist  trans- 
mitting to  me  a  detailed  statement  of  the  work  of  the  Chicago  Commission  on  Race 
Relations  appointed  by  me  after  the  race  riot  in  Chicago  in  1919,  which  is  signed  by 
yourself  as  chairman  and  by  the  other  members  of  the  Commission. 

I  am  greatly  pleased  to  know  that  the  Commission  has  been  able  to  accomplish 
so  much  through  its  investigations  and  that  there  has  been  such  hearty  co-operation 
on  the  part  of  many  citizens  to  make  the  inquiry  in  this  important  field  as  valuable 
as  possible. 

I  shall  look  forward  with  more  than  ordinary  interest  to  the  appearance  of  the 
completed  report  in  printed  form.  I  suggest  that  the  Commission  arrange  for  its 
publication  as  soon  as  possible  in  order  that  your  findings  and  recommendations 
may  be  made  available  to  all  students  of  race  relations  in  our  country. 

I  desire  to  express  to  you  and  through  you  to  the  members  of  the  Commission 
my  great  appreciation  of  the  service  which  you  have  rendered  to  the  people  of  Chicago 
and  of  Illinois  in  connection  with  the  Commission.  I  have  been  advised  from  time 
to  time  of  your  continuing  interest,  your  fidelity  in  attendance  upon  the  meetings  of 
the  Commission,  and  your  earnest  desire  to  render  as  accurate  a  judgment  as  possible. 

Yours  very  sincerely, 

(Signed)  Frank  O.  Lowden 
Hon.  Edgar  A.  Bancroft 
Chairman,  Chicago  Commission  on  Race  Relations 

111  accordance  with  Governor  Lowden's  suggestion  the  Commission  here- 
with presents  its  report,  with  findings  and  recommendations,  hoping  that  it 
may  prove  of  service  in  the  efforts  to  bring  about  better  relations  between  the 
white  and  Negro  races. 



The  relation  of  whites  and  Negroes  in  the  United  States  is  our  most  grave 
and  perplexing  domestic  problem.  It  involves  not  only  a  difference  of  race — 
which  as  to  many  immigrant  races  has  been  happily  overcome — but  wider 
and  more  manifest  differences  in  color  and  physical  features.  These  make 
an  easy  and  natural  basis  for  distinctions,  discriminations,  and  antipathies 
arising  from  the  instinct  of  each  race  to  preserve  its  type.  Many  white 
Americans,  while  technically  recognizing  Negroes  as  citizens,  cannot  bring 
themselves  to  feel  that  they  should  participate  in  government  as  freely  as 
other  citizens. 

Countless  schemes  have  been  proposed  for  solving  or  dismissing  this 
problem,  most  of  them  impracticable  or  impossible.  Of  this  class  are  such 
proposals  as:  (i)  the  deportation  of  12,000,000  Negroes  to  Africa;  (2)  the 
estabUshment  of  a  separate  Negro  state  in  the  United  States;  (3)  complete 
separation  and  segregation  from  the  whites  and  the  estabUshment  of  a  caste 
system  or  peasant  class;  and  (4)  hope  for  a  solution  through  the  dying  out 
of  the  Negro  race.  The  only  effect  of  such  proposals  is  to  confuse  thinking 
on  the  vital  issues  involved  and  to  foster  impatience  and  intolerance. 

Our  race  problem  must  be  solved  in  harmony  with  the  fundamental  law 
of  the  nation  and  with  its  free  institutions.  These  prevent  any  deportation 
of  the  Negro,  as  well  as  any  restriction  of  his  freedom  of  movement  within 
the  United  States.  The  problem  must  not  be  regarded  as  sectional  or  pohtical, 
and  it  should  be  studied  and  discussed  seriously,  frankly,  and  with  an  open  mind. 

It  is  important  for  our  white  citizens  always  to  remember  that  the  Negroes 
alone  of  all  our  immigrants  came  to  America  against  their  will  by  the  special 
compelling  invitation  of  the  whites;  that  the  institution  of  slavery  was  intro- 
duced, expanded,  and  maintained  in  the  United  States  by  the  white  people 
and  for  their  own  benefit;  and  that  they  likewise  created  the  conditions  that 
followed  emancipation. 

Our  Negro  problem,  therefore,  is  not  of  the  Negro's  making.  No  group 
in  our  population  is  less  responsible  for  its  existence.  But  every  group  is 
responsible  for  its  continuance;  and  every  citizen,  regardless  of  color  or  racial 
origin,  is  in  honor  and  conscience  bound  to  seek  and  forward  its  solution. 

Centuries  of  the  Negro  slave  trade  and  of  slavery  as  an  institution  have 
created,  and  are  often  deemed  to  justify,  the  deep-seated  prejudice  against 
Negroes.  They  placed  a  stamp  upon  the  relations  of  the  two  races  which  it 
will  require  many  years  to  erase.  The  memory  of  these  relations  has  pro- 
foundly affected  and  still  affects  the  industrial,  commercial,  and  social  life 
of  the  southern  states. 


The  great  body  of  anti-Negro  public  opinion,  preserved  in  the  Uterature 
and  traditions  of  the  white  race  during  the  long,  unhappy  progress  of  the 
Negro  from  savagery  through  slavery  to  citizenship,  has  exercised  a  persistent 
and  powerful  effect,  both  conscious  and  unconscious,  upon  the  thmking  and 
the  behavior  of  the  white  group  generally.  Racial  misunderstanding  has  been 
fostered  by  the  ignorance  and  indifference  of  many  white  citizens  concerning 
the  marvelous  industry  and  courage  shown  by  the  Negroes  and  the  success 
they  have  achieved  in  their  fifty-nine  years  of  freedom. 

The  Negro  race  must  develop,  as  all  races  have  developed,  from  lower  to 
higher  planes  of  Uving;  and  must  base  its  progress  upon  industry,  efficiency, 
and  moral  character.  Training  along  these  Unes  and  general  opportunities 
for  education  are  the  fundamental  needs.  As  the  problem  is  national  in  its 
scope  and  gravity,  the  solution  must  be  national.  And  the  nation  must  make 
sure  that  the  Negro  is  educated  for  citizenship. 

It  is  of  the  first  importance  that  old  prejudices  against  the  Negroes,  based 
upon  their  misfortunes  and  not  on  their  faults,  be  supplanted  with  respect, 
encouragement,  and  co-operation,  and  with  a  recognition  of  their  heroic 
struggles  for  self-improvement  and  of  their  worthy  achievements  as  loyal 
American  citizens. 

Both  races  need  to  understand  that  their  rights  and  duties  are  mutual 
and  equal,  and  that  their  interests  in  the  common  good  are  identical;  that 
relations  of  amity  are  the  only  protection  against  race  clashes;  that  these 
relations  cannot  be  forced,  but  will  come  naturally  as  the  leaders  of  each 
race  develop  within  their  own  ranks  a  realization  of  the  gravity  of  this 
problem  and  a  vital  interest  in  its  solution,  and  an  attitude  of  confidence, 
respect,  and  friendliness  toward  the  people  of  the  other  race. 

All  our  citizens,  regardless  of  color  or  racial  origin,  need  to  be  taught  by 
their  leaders  that  there  is  a  common  standard  of  superiority  for  them  all  in 
self-respect,  honesty,  industry,  fairness,  forbearance,  and  above  all,  in  generous 
helpfulness.  There  is  no  help  or  healing  in  appraising  past  responsibilities, 
or  in  present  apportioning  of  praise  or  blame.  The  past  is  of  value  only  as 
it  aids  in  understanding  the  present;  and  an  understanding  of  the  facts  of 
the  problem — a  magnanimous  understanding  by  both  races — ^is  the  first  step 
toward  its  solution. 


July  27 -August  2,  1919 

Thirty-eight  persons  killed,  537  injured,  and  about  1,000  rendered  homeless 
and  destitute  was  the  casualty  list  of  the  race  riot  which  broke  out  in  Chicago 
on  July  27,  1919,  and  swept  uncontrolled  through  parts  of  the  city  for  four 
days.  By  August  2  it  had  yielded  to  the  forces  of  law  and  order,  and  on 
August  8  the  state  militia  withdrew. 

A  clash  between  whites  and  Negroes  on  the  shore  of  Lake  Michigan  at 
Twenty-ninth  Street,  which  involved  much  stone-throwing  and  resulted  in 
the  drowning  of  a  Negro  boy,  was  the  beginning  of  the  riot.  A  policeman's 
refusal  to  arrest  a  white  man  accused  by  Negroes  of  stoning  the  Negro  boy  was 
an  important  factor  in  starting  mob  action.  Within  two  hours  the  riot  was 
in  fuU  sway,  had  scored  its  second  fatality,  and  was  spreading  throughout 
the  south  and  southwest  parts  of  the  city.  Before  the  end  came  it  reached 
out  to  a  section  of  the  West  Side  and  even  invaded  the  "Loop,"  the  heart  of 
Chicago's  downtown  business  district.  Of  the  thirty-eight  killed,  fifteen 
were  whites  and  twenty-three  Negroes;  of  537  injured,  178  were  whites,  342 
were  Negroes,  and  the  race  of  seventeen  was  not  recorded. 

In  contrast  with  many  other  outbreaks  of  violence  over  racial  friction 
the  Chicago  riot  was  not  preceded  by  excitement  over  reports  of  attacks  on 
women  or  of  any  other  crimes  alleged  to  have  been  committed  by  Negroes. 
It  is  interesting  to  note  that  not  one  of  the  thirty-eight  deaths  was  of  a  woman 
or  girl,  and  that  only  ten  of  the  537  persons  injured  were  women  or  girls. 
In  further  contrast  with  other  outbreaks  of  racial  violence,  the  Chicago  riot 
was  marked  by  no  hangings  or  burnings. 

The  rioting  was  characterized  by  much  activity  on  the  part  of  gangs  of 
hoodlums,  and  the  clashes  developed  from  sudden  and  spontaneous  assaults 
into  organized  raids  against  Ufe  and  property. 

In  handling  the  emergency  and  restoring  order,  the  police  were  effectively 
reinforced  by  the  state  militia.  Help  was  also  rendered  by  deputy  sheriffs, 
and  by  ex-soldiers  who  volunteered. 

In  nine  of  the  thirty-eight  cases  of  death,  indictments  for  murder  were 
voted  by  the  grand  jury,  and  in  the  ensuing  trials  there  were  four  convictions. 
In  fifteen  other  cases  the  coroner's  jury  recommended  that  unknown  members 
of  mobs  be  apprehended,  but  none  of  these  was  ever  found. 

The  conditions  underlying  the  Chicago  riot  are  discussed  in  detail  in  other 
sections  of  this  report,  especially  in  those  which  deal  with  housing,  industry, 


and  racial  contacts.  The  Commission's  inquiry  concerning  the  facts  of  the 
riot  included  a  critical  analysis  of  the  5,584  pages  of  the  testimony  taken  by 
the  coroner's  jury;  a  study  of  the  records  of  the  office  of  the  state's  attorney; 
studies  of  the  records  of  the  PoUce  Department,  hospitals,  and  other  institutions 
with  reference  to  injuries,  and  of  the  records  of  the  Fire  Department  with 
reference  to  incendiary  fires;  and  interviews  with  many  public  officials  and 
citizens  having  special  knowledge  of  various  phases  of  the  riot.  Much  informa- 
tion was  also  gained  by  the  Commission  in  a  series  of  four  conferences  to  which 
it  invited  the  foreman  of  the  riot  grand  jury,  the  chief  and  other  commanding 
officers  of  the  Police  Department,  the  state's  attorney  and  some  of  his  assistants, 
and  officers  in  command  of  the  state  militia  diuring  the  riot. 

Background  of  the  riot.— The  Chicago  riot  was  not  the  only  serious  outbreak 
of  interracial  violence  in  the  year  following  the  war.  The  same  summer 
witnessed  the  riot  in  Washington,  about  a  week  earlier;  the  riot  in  Omaha, 
about  a  month  later;  and  then  the  week  of  armed  conffict  in  a  rural  district 
of  Arkansas  due  to  exploitation  of  Negro  cotton  producers. 

Nor  was  the  Chicago  riot  the  first  violent  manifestation  of  race  antagonism 
in  Illinois.  In  1908  Springfield  had  been  the  scene  of  an  outbreak  that  brought 
shame  to  the  community  which  boasted  of  having  been  Lincoln's  home.  In 
1917  East  St.  Louis  was  torn  by  a  bitter  and  destructive  riot  which  raged 
for  nearly  a  week,  and  was  the  subject  of  a  Congressional  investigation  that 
disclosed  appalling  underlying  conditions. 

This  Commission,  while  making  a  thorough  study  of  the  Chicago  riot, 
has  reviewed  briefly,  for  comparative  purposes,  the  essential  facts  of  the 
Springfield  and  East  St.  Louis  riots,  and  of  minor  clashes  in  Chicago  occurring 
both  before  and  after  the  riot  of  1919. 

Chicago  was  one  of  the  northern  cities  most  largely  afEected  by  the  migra- 
tion of  Negroes  from  the  South  during  the  war.  The  Negro  population 
increased  from  44,103  in  1910  to  109,594  in  1920,  an  increase  of  148  per  cent. 
Most  of  this  increase  came  in  the  years  1916-19.  It  was  principally  caused 
by  the  widening  of  industrial  opportunities  due  to  the  entrance  of  northern 
workers  into  the  army  and  to  the  demand  for  war  workers  at  much  higher 
wages  than  Negroes  had  been  able  to  earn  in  the  South.  An  added  factor  was 
the  feeling,  which  spread  like  a  contagion  through  the  South,  that  the  great 
opportunity  had  come  to  escape  from  what  they  felt  to  be  a  land  of  discrimina- 
tion and  subserviency  to  places  where  they  could  expect  fair  treatment  and 
equal  rights.     Chicago  became  to  the  southern  Negro  the  "top  of  the  world." 

The  effect  of  this  influx  of  Negroes  into  Chicago  industries  is  reviewed  in 
another  section  of  this  report.'  It  is  necessary  to  point  out  here  only  that  fric- 
tion in  industry  was  less  than  might  have  been  expected.  There  had  been  a 
few  strikes  which  had  given  the  Negro  the  name  of  "strike  breaker."  But 
the  demand  for  labor  was  such  that  there  were  plenty  of  jobs  to  absorb  all  the 

,  ■  Pages  infra. 


white  and  Negro  workers  available.  This  condition  continued  even  after 
the  end  of  the  war  and  demobilization. 

In  housing,  however,  there  was  a  different  story.  Practically  no  new 
building  had  been  done  in  the  city  during  the  war,  and  it  was  a  physical  impos- 
sibility for  a  doubled  Negro  population  to  Uve  in  the  space  occupied  in  1915. 
Negroes  spread  out  of  what  had  been  known  as  the  "Black  Belt"  into  neighbor- 
hoods near-by  which  had  been  exclusively  white.  This  movement,  as  described 
in  another  section  of  this  report,  developed  friction,  so  much  so  that  in  the 
"invaded"  neighborhoods  bombs  were  thrown  at  the  houses  of  Negroes  who 
had  moved  in,  and  of  real  estate  men,  white  and  Negro,  who  sold  or  rented 
property  to  the  newcomers.  From  July  i,  1917,  to  July  27,  1919,  the  day 
the  riot  began,  twenty-four  such  bombs  had  been  thrown.  The  poKce  had 
been  entirely  unsuccessful  in  finding  those  guilty,  and  were  accused  of  making 
Uttle  effort  to  do  so. 

A  third  phase  of  the  situation  was  the  increased  poUtical  strength  gained 
by  Mayor  Thompson's  faction  in  the  Republican  party.  Negro  politicians 
affiliated  with  this  faction  had  been  able  to  sway  to  its  support  a  large  propor- 
tion of  the  voters  in  the  ward  most  largely  inhabited  by  Negroes.  Negro 
aldermen  elected  from  this  ward  were  prominent  in  the  activities  of  this 
faction.  The  part  played  by  the  Negro  vote  in  the  hard-fought  partisan 
struggle  is  indicated  by  the  fact  that  in  the  Repubhcan  primary  election  on 
February  25,  1919,  Mayor  Thompson  received  in  this  ward  12,143  votes, 
while  his  two  opponents,  Olson  and  Merriam,  received  only  1,492  and  319 
respectively.  Mayor  Thompson  was  re-elected  on  April  i,  1919,  by  a  pluraUty 
of  21,622  in  a  total  vote  in  the  city  of  698,920;  his  vote  in  this  ward  was 
15,569,  to  his  nearest  opponent's  3,323,  and  was  therefore  large  enough  to  control 
the  election.  The  bitterness  of  this  factional  struggle  aroused  resentment 
against  the  race  that  had  so  conspicuously  allied  itself  with  the  Thompson  side. 

As  part  of  the  background  of  the  Chicago  riot,  the  activities  of  gangs  of 
hoodlums  should  be  cited.  There  had  been  friction  for  years,  especially  along 
the  western  boundary  of  the  area  in  which  the  Negroes  mainly  Uve,  and 
attacks  upon  Negroes  by  gangs  of  young  toughs  had  been  particularly  frequent 
in  the  spring  just  preceding  the  riot.  They  reached  a  climax  on  the  night  of 
June  21,  1919,  five  weeks  before  the  riot,  when  two  Negroes  were  murdered. 
Each  was  alone  at  the  time  and  was  the  victim  of  unprovoked  and  particularly 
brutal  attack.  Molestation  of  Negroes  by  hoodlums  had  been  prevalent  in 
the  vicinity  of  parks  and  playgrounds  and  at  bathing-beaches. 

On  two  occasions  shortly  before  the  riot  the  forewarnings  of  serious 
racial  trouble  had  been  so  pronounced  that  the  chief  of  police  sent  several 
himdred  extra  policemen  into  the  territory  where  trouble  seemed  imminent. 
But  serious  violence  did  not  break  out  until  Sunday  afternoon,  July  27,  when 
the  clash  on  the  lake  shore  at  Twenty-ninth  Street  resulted  in  the  drowning 
of  a  Negro  boy. 


The  beginning  of  the  riot. — Events  followed  so  fast  in  the  train  of  the  drown- 
ing that  this  tragedy  may  be  considered  as  marking  the  beginning  of  the  riot. 
It  was  four  o'clock  Sunday  afternoon,  July  27,  when  Eugene  Williams, 
seventeen-year-old  Negro  boy,  was  swimming  offshore  at  the  foot  of  Twenty- 
ninth  Street.  This  beach  was  not  one  of  those  publicly  maintained  and 
supervised  for  bathing,  but  it  was  much  used.  Although  it  flanks  an  area 
thickly  inhabited  by  Negroes,  it  was  used  by  both  races,  access  being  had  by 
crossing  the  railway  tracks  which  skirt  the  lake  shore.  The  part  near  Twenty- 
seventh  Street  had  by  tacit  understanding  come  to  be  considered  as  reserved 
for  Negroes,  while  the  whites  used  the  part  near  Twenty-ninth  Street.  Walking 
is  not  easy  along  the  shore,  and  each  race  had  kept  pretty  much  to  its 
own  part,  observing,  moreover,  an  imaginary  boundary  extending  into  the 

Williams,  who  had  entered  the  water  at  the  part  used  by  Negroes,  swam 
and  drifted  south  into  the  part  used  by  the  whites.  Immediately  before  his 
appearance  there,  white  men,  women,  and  children  had  been  bathing  in  the 
vicinity  and  were  on  the  beach  in  considerable  nimibers.  Four  Negroes 
walked  through  the  group  and  into  the  water.  White  men  summarily  ordered 
them  off.  The  Negroes  left,  and  the  white  people  resumed  their  sport.  But 
it  was  not  long  before  the  Negroes  were  back,  coming  from  the  north  with 
others  of  their  race.  Then  began  a  series  of  attacks  and  retreats,  counter- 
attacks, and  stone-throwing.  Women  and  children  who  could  not  escape 
hid  behind  debris  and  rocks.  The  stone-throwing  continued,  first  one  side 
gaining  the  advantage,  then  the  other. 

WiUiams,  who  had  remained  in  the  water  during  the  fracas,  found  a 
railroad  tie  and  clung  to  it,  stones  meanwhile  frequently  striking  the  water 
near  him.  A  white  boy  of  about  the  same  age  swam  toward  him.  As  the  white 
boy  neared,  WiUiams  let  go  of  the  tie,  took  a  few  strokes,  and  went  down. 
The  coroner's  jury  rendered  a  verdict  that  he  had  drowned  because  fear  of 
stone-throwing  kept  him  from  shore.  His  body  showed  no  stone  bruises, 
but  rumor  had  it  that  he  had  actually  been  hit  by  one  of  the  stones  and 
drowned  as  a  result. 

On  shore  guilt  was  immediately  placed  upon  a  certain  white  man  by 
several  Negro  witnesses  who  demanded  that  he  be  arrested  by  a  white  policeman 
who  was  on  the  spot.    No  arrest  was  made. 

The  tragedy  was  sensed  by  the  battUng  crowd  and,  awed  by  it,  they 
gathered  on  the  beach.  For  an  hour  both  whites  and  Negroes  dived  for  the 
boy  without  results.  Awe  gave  way  to  excited  whispers.  "They"  said  he 
was  stoned  to  death.  The  report  circulated  through  the  crowd  that  the 
police  officer  had  refused  to  arrest  the  murderer.  The  Negroes  in  the  crowd 
began  to  mass  dangerously.  At  this  crucial  point  the  accused  policemaa 
arrested  a  Negro  on  a  white  man's  complaint.  Negroes  mobbed  the  white 
officer,  and  the  riot  was  under  way. 


One  version  of  the  quarrel  which  resulted  in  the  drowning  of  Williams  was 
given  by  the  state's  attorney,  who  declared  that  it  arose  among  white  and 
Negro  gamblers  over  a  craps  game  on  the  shore,  "virtually  under  the  protection 
of  the  poUce  officer  on  the  beat."  Eyewitnesses  to  the  stoil'e-throwing  clash 
appearing  before  the  coroner's  jury  saw  no  gambling,  but  said  it  might  have 
been  going  on,  but  if  so,  was  not  visible  from  the  water's  edge.  The  crowd 
undoubtedly  included,  as  the  grand  jury  declared,  "hoodlums,  gamblers,  and 
thugs,"  but  it  also  included  law-abiding  citizens,  white  and  Negro. 

This  charge,  that  the  first  riot  clash  started  among  gamblers  who  were 
under  the  protection  of  the  police  officer,  and  also  the  charge  that  the  pohce- 
man  refused  to  arrest  the  stone-thrower  were  vigorously  denied  by  the  police. 
The  policeman's  star  was  taken  from  him,  but  after  a  hearing  before  the 
Civil  Service  Commission  it  was  returned,  thus  officially  vindicating  him. 

The  two  facts,  the  drowning  and  the  refusal  to  arrest,  or  widely  circulated 
reports  of  such  refusal,  must  be  considered  together  as  marking  the  inception 
of  the  riot.  Testimony  of  a  captain  of  poUce  shows  that  first  reports  from  the 
lake  after  the  drowning  indicated  that  the  situation  was  calming  down.  White 
men  had  shown  a  not  altogether  hostile  feeling  for  the  Negroes  by  assisting 
in  diving  for  the  body  of  the  boy.  Furthermore  a  clash  started  on  this  isolated 
spot  could  not  be  augmented  by  outsiders  rushing  in.  There  was  every  possi- 
bihty  that  the  clash,  without  the  further  stimulus  of  reports  of  the  policeman's 
conduct,  would  have  quieted  down. 

Chronological  story  of  the  riot. — After  the  drowning  of  WiUiams,  it  was 
two  hours  before  any  further  fatalities  occurred.  Reports  of  the  drowning 
and  of  the  alleged  conduct  of  the  policeman  spread  out  into  the  neighborhood. 
The  Negro  crowd  from  the  beach  gathered  at  the  foot  of  Twenty-ninth  Street. 
As  it  became  more  and  more  excited,  a  group  of  officers  was  called  by  the 
policeman  who  had  been  at  the  beach.  James  Crawford,  a  Negro,  fired  into 
the  group  of  officers  and  was  himseK  shot  and  kiUed  by  a  Negro  policeman 
who  had  been  sent  to  help  restore  order. 

During  the  remainder  of  the  afternoon  of  July  27,  many  distorted  rumors 
circulated  swiftly  throughout  the  South  Side.  The  Negro  crowd  from  Twenty- 
ninth  Street  got  into  action,  and  white  men  who  came  in  contact  with  it  were 
beaten.  In  aU,  four  white  men  were  beaten,  five  were  stabbed,  and  one  was 
shot.  As  the  rumors  spread,  new  crowds  gathered,  mobs  sprang  into  activity 
spontaneously,  and  gangs  began  to  take  part  in  the  lawlessness. 

Farther  to  the  west,  as  darkness  came  on,  white  gangsters  became  active. 
Negroes  in  white  districts  suffered  severely  at  their  hands.  From  9:00  p.m. 
until  3:00  A.M.  twenty-seven  Negroes  were  beaten,  seven  were  stabbed,  and 
four  were  shot. 

Few  clashes  occurred  on  Monday  morning.  People  of  both  races  went 
to  work  as  usual  and  even  continued  to  work  side  by  side,  as  customary, 
without  signs  of  violence.    But  as  the  afternoon  wore  on,  white  men  and 


boys  Uving  between  the  Stock  Yards  and  the  "Black  Belt"  sought  maUcious 
amusement  in  directing  mob  violence  against  Negro  workers  returning  home. 

Street-car  routes,  especially  transfer  points,  were  thronged  with  white 
people  of  all  ages.  Trolleys  were  pulled  from  wires  and  the  cars  brought 
under  the  control  of  mob  leaders.  Negro  passengers  were  dragged  to  the 
street,  beaten,  and  kicked.  The  police  were  apparently  powerless  to  cope 
with  these  numerous  assaults.  Four  Negro  men  and  one  white  assailant 
were  kiUed,  and  thirty  Negro  men  were  severely  beaten  in  the  street-car 

The  "Black  Belt"  contributed  its  share  of  violence  to  the  record  of  Monday 
afternoon  and  night.  Rumors  of  white  depredations  and  killings  were  current 
among  the  Negroes  and  led  to  acts  of  retaUation.  An  aged  Italian  peddler, 
one  Lazzeroni,  was  set  upon  by  young  Negro  boys  and  stabbed  to  death. 
Eugene  Temple,  white  laundryman,  was  stabbed  to  death  and  robbed  by  three 

A  Negro  mob  made  a  demonstration  outside  Provident  Hospital,  an  institu- 
tion conducted  by  Negroes,  because  two  injured  whites  who  had  been  shooting 
right  and  left  from  a  hurrying  automobile  on  State  Street  were  taken  there, 
Other  mobs  stabbed  six  white  men,  shot  five  others,  severely  beat  nine  more, 
and  killed  two  in  addition  to  those  named  above. 

Rumor  had  it  that  a  white  occupant  of  the  Angelus  apartment  house  had 
shot  a  Negro  boy  from  a  fourth-story  window.  Negroes  besieged  the  building. 
The  white  tenants  sought  police  protection,  and  about  loo  policemen,  including 
some  mounted  men,  responded.  The  mob  of  about  1,500  Negroes  demanded 
the  "culprit,"  but  the  poUce  failed  to  find  him  after  a  search  of  the  building. 
A  flying  brick  hit  a  policeman.  There  was  a  quick  massing  of  the  poUce,  and 
a  volley  was  fired  into  the  Negro  mob.  Four  Negroes  were  killed  and  many 
were  injured.  It  is  believed  that  had  the  Negroes  not  lost  faith  in  the  white 
pohce  force  it  is  hardly  likely  that  the  Angelus  riot  would  have  occurred. 

At  this  point,  Monday  night,  both  whites  and  Negroes  showed  signs  of 
panic.  Each  race  grouped  by  itself.  Small  mobs  began  systematically  in 
various  neighborhoods  to  terrorize  and  kill.  Gangs  in  the  white  districts 
grew  bolder,  finally  taking  the  offensive  in  raids  through  territory  "invaded" 
by  Negro  home  seekers.  Boys  between  sixteen  and  twenty-two  banded 
together  to  enjoy  the  excitement  of  the  chase. 

Automobile  raids  were  added  to  the  rioting  Monday  night.  Cars  from 
which  rifle  and  revolver  shots  were  fired  were  driven  at  great  speed  through 
sections  inhabited  by  Negroes.  Negroes  defended  themselves  by  "sniping'' 
and  volley-firing  from  ambush  and  barricade.  So  great  was  the  fear  of  these 
raiding  parties  that  the  Negroes  distrusted  aU  motor  vehicles  and  frequently 
opened  fire  on  them  without  waiting  to  learn  the  intent  of  the  occupants. 
This  t3^e  of  warfare  was  kept  up  spasmodically  all  Tuesday  and  was  resumed 
with  vigor  Tuesday  night. 




At  midnight,  Monday,  street-car  clashes  ended  by  reason  of  a  general 
strike  on  the  surface  and  elevated  lines.  The  street-railway  tie-up  was  com- 
plete for  the  remainder  of  the  week.  But  on  Tuesday  morning  this  was  a 
new  source  of  terror  for  those  who  tried  to  walk  to  their  places  of  employment. 
Men  were  killed  en  route  to  their  work  through  hostile  territory.  Idle  men  con- 
gregated on  the  streets,  and  gang-rioting  increased.  A  white  gang  of  soldiers 
and  sailors  in  uniform,  augmented  by  civilians,  raided  the  "Loop,"  or  down- 
town section  of  Chicago,  early  Tuesday,  killing  two  Negroes  and  beating 
and  robbing  several  others.  In  the  course  of  these  activities  they  wantonly 
destroyed  property  of  white  business  men. 

Gangs  sprang  up  as  far  south  as  Sixty-third  Street  in  Englewood  and  in 
the  section  west  of  Wentworth  Avenue  near  Forty-seventh  Street.  Premedi- 
tated depredations  were  the  order  of  the  night.  Many  Negro  homes  in  mixed 
districts  were  attacked,  and  several  of  them  were  burned.  Furniture  was 
stolen  or  destroyed.  When  raiders  were  driven  ofi  they  would  return  again 
and  again  until  their  designs  were  accomphshed. 

The  contagion  of  the  race  war  broke  over  the  boundaries  of  the  South 
Side  and  spread  to  the  Italians  on  the  West  Side.  This  community  became 
excited  over  a  rumor,  and  an  Italian  crowd  kUled  a  Negro,  Joseph  Lovings. 

Wednesday  saw  a  material  lessening  of  crime  and  violence.  The  "Black 
Belt"  and  the  district  immediately  west  of  it  were  still  storm  centers.  But 
the  peak  of  the  rioting  had  apparently  passed,  although  the  danger  of  fresh 
outbreaks  of  magnitude  was  stiU  imminent.  Although  companies  of  the 
militia  had  been  mobilized  in  nearby  armories  as  early  as  Monday  night, 
July  28,  it  was  not  until  Wednesday  evening  at  10:30  that  the  mayor  yielded 
to  pressure  and  asked  for  their  help. 

Rain  on  Wednesday  night  and  Thursday  drove  idle  people  of  both  races 
into  their  homes.  The  temperature  fell,  and  with  it  the  white  heat  of  the 
riot.  From  this  time  on  the  violence  was  sporadic,  scattered,  and  meager. 
The  riot  seemed  well  under  control,  if  not  actually  ended. 

Friday  witnessed  only  a  single  reported  injury.  At  3:35  a.m.  Saturday 
incendiary  fires  burned  forty-nine  houses  in  the  immigrant  neighborhood 
west  of  the  Stock  Yards.  Nine  hundred  and  forty-eight  people,  mostly 
Lithuanians,  were  made  homeless,  and  the  property  loss  was  about  $250,000. 
Responsibility  for  these  fires  was  never  fixed.  The  riot  virtually  ceased  on 
Saturday.  For  the  next  few  days  injured  were  reported  occasionally,  and  by 
August  8  the  riot  zone  had  settled  down  to  normal  and  the  mihtia  was  with- 

Growth  of  the  riot. — ^The  riot  period  was  thirteen  days  in  length,  from 
Sunday,  July  27,  through  Thursday,  August  8,  the  day  on  which  the  troops 
were  withdrawn.  Of  this  time,  only  the  first  seven  days  witnessed  active 
rioting.  The  remaining  days  marked  the  return  toward  normal.  In  the  seven 
active  days,  rioting  was  not  continuous  but  intermittent,  being  furious  for 


hours,  then  fairly  quiescent  for  hours.  The  first  three  days  saw  the  most 
acute  disturbance,  and  in  this  span  there  were  three  main  periods:  4:00  p.m. 
Sunday  tiE  3:00  a.m.  Monday;  9:00  a.m.  Monday  till  9:00  a.m.  Tuesday; 
uoon  Tuesday  till  midnight.  This  left  two  long  mtervals  of  comparative 
quiet,  six  hours  on  Monday  and  three  hours  on  Tuesday.  On  the  fourth  day, 
Wednesday,  there  were  scattered  periods  of  rioting,  each  of  a  few  hours' 
duration.  Thus  Monday  afternoon  to  Tuesday  morning  was  the  longest 
stretch  of  active  rioting  in  the  first  four  days. 

For  the  most  part  the  riot  was  confined  to  the  South  Side  of  the  city. 
There  were  two  notable  exceptions,  the  district  north  and  west  of  the  south 
branch  of  the  Chicago  River  and  the  "Loop"  or  downtown  business  district. 
A  few  isolated  clashes  occurred  on  the  North  Side  and  on  the  extreme  West 
Side,  but  aside  from  these  the  area  covered  was  that  shown  on  the  accompanying 
outline  map. 

For  the  purposes  of  discussion  it  is  convenient  to  divide  the  riot  area  into 
seven  districts.  The  boundaries  in  some  instances  are  due  to  the  designation 
of  Wentworth  Avenue  by  the  poUce  as  a  boundary  west  of  which  no  Negroes 
should  be  allowed,  and  east  of  which  no  whites  should  be  allowed. 

I.  "Black  Belt."    From  Twenty-second  to  Thurty-ninth,  inclusive;  Went- 

worth Avenue  to  the  lake,  exclusive  of  Wentworth;    Thirty-ninth  to 
Fifty-fifth,  inclusive;  Clark  to  Michigan,  exclusive  of  Michigan. 

II.  Area  contested  by  both  Negroes  and  whites.    Thirty-ninth  to  Fifty-fifth, 
inclusive;  Michigan  to  the  lake. 

III.  Southwest  Side,  including  the  Stock  Yards  district;  south  of  the  Chicago 

River  to  Fifty-fifth;  west  of  Wentworth,  including  Wentworth. 
rV.  Area  south  of  Fifty-fifth  and  east  of  Wentworth. 
V.  Area  south  of  Fifty-fifth  and  west  of  Wentworth. 
VI.  Area  north  and  west  of  the  Chicago  River. 
Vn.  "Loop"  or  business  district  and  vicinity. 

In  the  district  designated  as  the  "Black  Belt"  about  90  per  cent  of  the 
Negroes  Uve.  District  II,  the  "contested  area,"  is  that  in  which  most  of  the 
bombings  have  occurred.  Negroes  are  said  to  be  "invading"  this  district. 
Extension  here  instead  of  into  District  III,  toward  the  Stock  Yards  neighbor- 
hood, may  be  explained  partly  by  the  hostility  which  the  Irish  and  Polish 
groups  to  the  west  had  often  shown  to  Negroes.  The  white  hoodliun  element 
of  the  Stock  Yards  district,  designated  as  III,  was  characterized  by  the  state's 
attorney  of  Cook  County,  when  he  remarked  that  more  bank  robbers,  pay-roll 
bandits,  automobile  bandits,  highwaymen,  and  strong-arm  crooks  come  from 
this  particular  district  than  from  any  other  that  has  come  to  his  notice  during 
seven  years  of  service  as  chief  prosecuting  official.* 

In  District  IV  and  V,  south  of  Fifty-fifth  Street,  Negroes  live  in  small 
communities  surrounded  by  white  people  or  are  scattered  through  white 
"  Carl  Sandburg,  The  Chicago  Race  Riots,  chap,  i,  p.  1.    Harcourt,  Brace  &  Howe. 


neighborhoods.    District  VI  has  a  large  Italian  population.    District  VII  is 
Chicago's  wholesale  and  retail  center. 

On  only  one  day  of  the  riot  were  all  these  districts  involved  in  the  race 
warfare.  This  was  Tuesday.  On  Sunday  Districts  I,  III,  and  IV  suffered 
clashes;  on  Monday  all  but  District  VI  were  involved;  on  Tuesday  the  entire 
area  was  affected;  on  Wednesday  District  VII  was  not  included,  and  District 
VI  witnessed  only  one  clash;  on  Thursday  District  IV  was  again  normal,  and 
Districts  II,  V,  and  VII  were  comparatively  quiet;  during  the  remainder  of 
the  week  only  the  first  three  districts  named  were  active. 

The  worst  clashes  were  in  Districts  I  and  III,  and  of  those  reported  injured, 
34  per  cent  received  their  wounds  in  the  "Black  Belt,"  District  I,  and  41 
per  cent  on  the  Southwest  Side,  in  the  district  including  the  Stock  Yards, 
District  III. 

Factors  contributing  to  the  subsidence  of  the  riot  were  the  natural 
reaction  from  the  tension,  efforts  of  pohce  and  citizens  to  curb  the  rioters,  the 
entrance  of  the  miUtia  on  Wednesday,  and  last,  but  perhaps  not  least,  a  heavy 

The  longest  period  of  violence  without  noticeable  lull  was  9:00  a.m.  Monday 
to  9:00  A.M.  Tuesday.  On  Tuesday  the  feehng  was  most  intense,  as  shown 
by  the  nature  of  the  clashes.  Arson  was  prevalent  on  Tuesday  for  the  first 
time,  and  the  property  loss  was  considerable.  But  judging  by  the  only  definite 
index,  the  number  of  dead  and  injured,  Monday  exceeded  Tuesday  in  violence, 
showing  229  injured  and  eighteen  dead  as  against  139  injured  and  eleven 
dead  on  the  latter  day.  While  it  is  apparent  that  no  single  hour  or  even  day 
can  be  called  the  peak  of  the  riot,  the  height  of  violence  clearly  falls  within 
the  two-day  period  Monday,  July  28,  and  Tuesday,  July  29. 

The  change  in  the  nature  of  the  clashes  day  by  day  showed  an  increase 
in  intensity  of  feeling  and  greater  boldness  in  action.  This  development 
reached  its  peak  on  Tuesday.  Later  came  a  decHne,  sporadic  outbursts 
succeeding  sustained  activity. 

Factors  inUuencing  growth  of  the  riot. — ^After  the  attacks  had  stopped, 
about  3  :oo  a.m.  Monday,  they  did  not  again  assume  serious  proportions  until 
Monday  afternoon,  when  workers  began  to  return  to  their  homes,  and  idle 
men  gathered  in  the  streets  in  greater  numbers  than  during  working  hours. 
The  Stock  Yards  laborers  are  dismissed  for  the  day  in  shifts.  Negroes  coming 
from  the  Yards  at  the  3:00  p.m.,  4:00  p.m.,  and  later  shifts  were  met  by  white 
gangs  armed  with  bats  and  clubs.  On  Tuesday  morning  men  going  to  work, 
both  Negro  and  white,  were  attacked. 

The  main  areas  of  violence  were  thoroughfares  and  natural  highways 
between  the  job  and  the  home.  On  the  South  Side  76  per  cent  of  aU  the 
injuries  occurred  on  such  streets.  The  most  turbulent  corners  were  those  on 
State  Street  between  Thirty-first  and  Thirty-ninth,  on  Cottage  Grove  Avenue 
at  Sixty-third  Street,  on  Halsted  Street,  at  Thirty-fifth  and  Forty-seventh 


streets  and  on  Archer  Avenue  at  Thirty-fifth  Street.    Injuries  at  these  spots 
were  distributed  as  follows:' 

Injuries    Deaths 

State  Street — 

at  Thirty-first 7 

between  Thirty-first  and  Thirty-fifth 2 

at  Thirty-fifth 9        i 

between  Thirty-fifth  and  Thirty-ninth 19        2 

at  Thirty-ninth 3 

Cottage  Grove  Avenue — 

at  Sixty-third  Street 8 

Halsted  Street — 

at  Thhrty-fifth 8 

at  Forty-seventh S 

Archer  Avenue — 

at  Thirty-fifth  Street 7 

Streets  which  suffered  most  from  rioting  were — 

State 61        6 

TMrty-fifth 5°        S 

Forty-seventh 32        2 

Halsted 32 

Thirty-first 29        i 

The  street-car  situation  had  an  effect  upon  the  riot  both  before  the  strike 
and  after  it.  Because  of  a  shortage  of  labor  at  the  time,  the  surface-street-cai 
company  had  put  on  a  number  of  inexperienced  men.  This  may  account 
for  the  inefi&ciency  of  some  crews  in  handling  attacked  cars. 

An  example  is  the  case  of  Henry  Goodman  who  was  killed  in  an  attack  on 
a  Thirty-ninth  Street  car.  The  car  was  stopped  at  Union  Avenue  by  a  truck 
suspiciously  stalled  across  the  tracks.  White  men  boarded  the  car  and  beat 
and  chased  six  or  eight  Negro  passengers.  When  asked  under  oath  to  whom 
the  truck  directly  in  front  of  him  belonged  and  what  color  it  was,  the  motorman 
rephed,  "I  couldn't  say."  When  asked  what  time  his  car  left  the  end  of  the 
line  and  whether  or  not  he  had  seen  any  Negroes  hit  on  the  car,  he  answered, 
"I  didn't  pay  any  attention."  The  motorman  said  he  made  a  report  of  the 
case,  but  it  could  not  be  found  by  anyone  in  the  street-car  company's  office. 
The  conductor  of  this  car  had  been  given  orders  to  warn  Negroes  that  there 
was  rioting  in  the  district  through  which  the  car  ran.  He  did  not  do  this. 
He  ignored  the  truck.  No  names  of  witnesses  were  secured.  The  motorman 
was  an  extra  man  and  had  run  on  that  route  only  during  the  day  of  the  attack. 

In  the  case  of  John  Mills,  a  Negro  who  was  killed  as  he  fled  from  a  Forty- 
seventh  Street  car,  the  motorman  left  the  car  while  Negroes  were  being  beaten 

'  Thirty-first,  Thirty-fifth,  and  Thirty-ninth  streets  are  chosen  for  special  notice  because 
these  are  transfer  points  for  north  and  south  cars  to  east  and  west  lines.  The  figures  given 
are  for  the  first  three  days  of  the  riot  only.  Other  days  showed  too  few  injuries  to  allow 
accurate  conclusions. 


inside  it.  Neither  motorman  nor  conductor  took  names  of  witnesses  or 
attempted  to  fix  a  description  of  the  assailants  in  mind. 

When  B.  F.  Hardy,  a  Negro,  was  killed  on  a  street  car  at  Forty-sixth 
Street  and  Cottage  Grove  Avenue,  the  motorman  and  conductor  offered  no 
resistance  and  did  not  get  names  or  descriptions. 

The  testimony  of  the  conductor  and  motorman  on  a  car  attacked  at 
Thirty-eight  Street  and  Ashland  Avenue  was  clear  and  showed  an  attempt  to 
get  all  information  possible.  They  secured  names  of  witnesses.  One  member 
of  the  crew  had  been  in  the  service  of  the  Chicago  Surface  Lines  for  ten  years, 
and  the  other  for  twelve  years. 

The  tie-up  of  the  street  railways  affected  the  riot  situation  by  forcing 
laborers  to  walk,  making  them  more  liable  to  assault  ui  the  hostile  districts, 
by  keeping  many  workers  from  jobs,  turning  out  on  the  streets  hundreds  of 
idle  men,  and  by  increasing  the  use  of  automobiles. 

Tuesday  morning  two  white  men  were  killed  while  walking  to  work  through 
the  Negro  area,  and  two  Negroes  were  killed  while  going  through  the  white  area. 

Curiosity  led  the  idle  to  the  riot  zone.  One  such  was  asked  on  the  witness 
stand  why  he  went.  "What  was  I  there  for?  Because  I  walked  there — ^my 
own  bad  luck.    I  was  curious  to  see  how  they  did  it,  that  is  all." 

Under  cover  of  legitimate  use  gangs  used  motor  vehicles  for  raiding. 
Witnesses  of  rioting  near  Ogden  Park  said  trucks  unloaded  passengers  on 
Racine  Avenue,  facihtating  the  formation  of  a  mob.  On  Halsted  Street 
crowds  of  young  men  rode  in  trucks  shouting  they  were  out  to  "  get  the  niggers." 
An  automobile  load  of  young  men  headed  off  He3rwood  Thomas,  Negro,  and 
shot  him,  at  Taylor  and  Halsted  streets,  as  he  was  walking  home  from  work. 

Beside  daily  routine  and  the  street-car  situation,  the  weather  undoubtedly 
had  an  influence  in  the  progress  of  the  riot.  July  27  was  hot,  96  degrees,  or 
fourteen  points  above  normal.  It  was  the  culmination  of  a  series  of  days 
with  high  temperattires  around  95  degrees,  which  meant  that  nerves  were 
strained.  The  warm  weather  of  Sunday,  Monday,  and  Tuesday  also  kept 
crowds  on  the  streets  and  sitting  on  doorsteps  until  late  at  night.  Innocent 
people  trying  to  keep  cool  were  injured  when  automobiles  raced  through  the 
streets,  the  occupants  firing  to  right  and  left.  Wednesday  night  and  Thiursday 
it  rained.     Cool  weather  followed  for  the  rest  of  the  week. 

Gangs  and  "athletic  clubs." — Gangs  and  their  activities  were  an  important 
factor  throughout  the  riot.  But  for  them  it  is  doubtful  if  the  riot  would  have 
gone  beyond  the  first  clash.  Both  organized  gangs  and  those  which  sprang 
into  existence  because  of  the  opportunity  afforded  seized  upon  the  excuse 
of  the  first  conflict  to  engage  in  lawless  acts. 

It  was  no  new  thing  for  youthful  white  and  Negro  groups  to  come  to 
violence.  For  years,  as  the  sections  of  this  report  dealing  with  antecedent 
clashes  and  with  recreation  show,  there  had  been  clashes  over  baseball  grounds, 
swimming-pools  in  the  parks,  the  right  to  walk  on  certain  streets,  etc. 


Gangs  whose  activities  figured  so  prominently  in  the  riot  were  all  white 
gangs,  or  "athletic  clubs."  Negro  hoodlums  do  not  appear  to  form  organized 
gangs  so  readily.  Judges  of  the  municipal  court  said  that  there  are  no  gang 
organizations  among  Negroes  to  compare  with  those  found  among  young  whites. 

The  Stock  Yards  district,  just  west  of  the  main  Negro  area,  is  the  home 
of  many  of  these  white  gangs  and  clubs;  it  is  designated  as  District  HI  in  the 
discussion  of  the  riot  growth.  The  state's  attorney,  as  aheady  indicated 
(see  p.  8),  referred  to  the  many  young  offenders  who  come  from  this  particular 
district.  A  poUce  detective  sergeant  who  investigated  the  riot  cases  in  this 
district  said  of  this  section,  "It  is  a  pretty  tough  neighborhood  to  try  to  get 
any  information  out  there;  you  can't  do  it."  A  policeman  on  the  beat  in 
the  district  said,  "There  is  the  CanaryviUe  bxmch  in  there  and  the  Hamburg 
bunch.    It  is  a  pretty  tough  hole  in  there." 

There  was  much  evidence  and  talk  of  the  pohtical  "puU"  and  even  leader- 
ship of  these  gangs  with  reference  to  their  activities  in  the  riot.  A  member 
of  "Ragen's  Colts"  just  after  the  riot  passed  the  word  that  the  "coppers" 
from  downtown  were  looking  for  club  members,  but  that  "there  need  be  no 
fear  of  the  coppers  from  the  station  at  the  Yards  for  they  were  all  fixed  and  told 
to  lay  off  on  club  members."  During  the  riot  he  claimed  they  were  well 
protected  by  always  having  a  "cop"  ride  in  one  of  the  automobiles  so  every- 
thing would  be  "O.K."  in  case  members  of  the  gang  were  picked  up.  Another 
member  of  the  club  said  he  had  been  "  tipped  off  by  the  poUce  at  the  Yards 
to  clean  out  and  keep  away  from  the  usual  hangouts  because  investigators 
were  working  out  of  Hoyne's  and  out  of  Brundage's  offices,  and  were  checking 
up  on  the  activities  of  the  'Ragen's'  during  the  riot." 

The  foreman  of  the  August  grand  jury  which  investigated  the  riot  cases 
said  in  testifying  before  the  Commission: 

The  lead  we  got  to  investigate  the  Forty-seventh  Street  district  was  from  an 
anonymous  letter  stating  that  Ragen  had  such  influence  in  the  Forty-seventh  Street 
police  station  that  these  individuals  were  allowed  to  go  without  due  process  of  law. 

I  didn't  beheve  that  was  a  fact  in  this  particular  instance.  We  did  learn  that 
Ragen  was  a  great  power  in  that  district  and  at  the  time  of  our  investigation  we 
learned  that  some  of  the  "Ragen's  Colts"  had  broken  into  the  police  station  and 
pried  open  a  door  of  a  closet  where  they  had  a  good  deal  of  evidence  in  the  nature  of 
weapons  of  prisoners  concealed,  and  they  got  all  of  this  evidence  out  of  there  without 
the  poUce  knowing  anything  about  it. 

The  station  referred  to  is  at  Forty-seventh  and  Halsted  streets.  Gangs 
operated  for  hoiurs  up  and  down  Forty-seventh  Street,  Wells,  Princeton,  Shields, 
and  Wentworth  avenues  and  Federal  Street  without  hindrance  from  the  poUce. 

A  judge  of  the  municipal  court  said  in  testimony  before  the  Commission: 
"They  seemed  to  think  they  had  a  sort  of  protection  which  entitled  them  to 
go  out  and  assault  anybody.  When  the  race  riots  occurred  it  gave  them 
something  to  satiate  the  desire  to  inflict  their  evil  propensities  on  others." 

Actual  photograph  of  the  killing  of  a  Negro  by  the  mob  shown  above  after  chasing  him  into  his  li» 



;ked  from  the  stairway  by  a  brick.     Two  men  are  here  shown  hurling  bricks  at  the  dying  Negro 


Besides  shouting  as  they  rode  down  the  streets  in  trucks  that  they  were 
out  to  "get  the  niggers, "  they  defied  the  law  in  other  ways.  When  the  miUtia 
men  came  on  the  scene  on  the  fourth  day  of  the  riot,  they  testified  to  trouble 
with  these  gangsters.  One  of  the  colonels  testified  before  the  Commission: 
"They  didn't  like  to  be  controlled.  They  would  load  up  heavy  trucks  with 
rowdies  and  try  to  force  through  the  Unes.  They'd  come  tooting  their  horns 
and  having  back  pressure  explosions  like  gatUng  guns." 

Some  of  the  "athletic  club"  gangsters  had  criminal  records.  L —  W— 
was  accused  of  being  one  of  the  leaders  of  the  gang  around  Forty-seventh  and 
WeUs  streets.  He  himself  said  boastfully,  "I  have  been  arrested  about 
fifteen  times  for  'disorderly'  and  never  was  arrested  with  a  knife  or  a  gun." 
Several  witnesses  said  they  had  seen  him  during  the  riot  one  night  leading 
the  mob  and  brandishing  a  razor  and  the  next  night  waving  a  gun.  He  was 
not  arrested.  D —  H — ,  seventeen  years  old,  was  identified  as  being  active 
in  the  rioting  near  Forty-seventh  Street  and  ForrestviUe  Avenue.  His  defense 
was  that  he  was  not  closer  to  the  Negro  assaulted  than  across  the  street,  but 
because  he  was  arrested  the  year  before  for  a  "stick-up"  people  looked  "funny" 
at  him  when  anything  happened.  R —  C —  was  accused  of  having  been 
implicated  in  the  arson  cases  on  Shields  Avenue.  When  his  mother  was 
interviewed,  she  said  she  knew  nothing  of  the  rioting,  but  said  her  son  was  at 
the  time  in  the  county  jail,  "but  not  for  that."  W —  G —  was  identified 
many  times  as  having  taken  part  in  the  arson  on  Wentworth  Avenue.  He  was 
indicted  for  both  arson  and  conspiracy  to  riot.  Two  years  before  the  riot  he 
had  been  arrested  for  larceny. 

All  who  discussed  gangs  before  the  Commission  said  that  most  of  the 
members  were  boys  of  seventeen  to  twenty-two  years  of  age.  Witnesses 
before  the  coroner's  juries  testified  to  the  youth  of  the  participants  in  mobs. 
Many  of  the  active  assailants  of  street  cars  were  boys.  In  the  case  of  the  Negro 
Hardy  who  was  kiUed  on  a  street  car,  it  was  said  that  the  murderers  were 
not  over  twenty  years,  and  many  were  nearer  sixteen.  In  the  raids  in  the 
Ogden  Park  district  the  participants  were  between  the  ages  of  fifteen  and 
twenty.  The  raid  just  west  of  Wentworth  Avenue,  where  a  number  of  houses 
were  much  damaged,  was  perpetrated  by  boys  of  these  ages.  The  attacking 
mob  on  Forty-third  Street  near  ForrestviUe  Avenue,  was  led  by  boys  of  eighteen 
to  twenty-one.  The  only  two  hoodlums  caught  participating  in  the  outrages 
in  the  "Loop,"  the  downtown  business  district,  were  seventeen  and  about 
twenty-one.  Most  of  those  arrested  on  suspicion  in  the  arson  cases  were 
taken  before  the  boys'  court.  Negroes  involved  in  many  cases  as  assailants 
were  also  youthful.  The  young  Negro  boys  who  killed  Lazzeroni  were  fourteen 
to  eighteen;  those  who  killed  Pareko  and  Perel  were  about  sixteen. 

A  member  of  "Ragen's  Colts  "  is  said  to  have  boasted  that  theh  territory  ex- 
tended from  Cottage  Grove  Avenue  to  Ashland  Avenue  and  from  Forty-third 
Street  to  Sixty-third  Street.    At  Sixty-third  Street  and  Cottage  Grove  Avenue 


they  were  said  to  have  attacked  a  colored  man  in  a  restaurant  and  thrown  him 
out  of  the  window.  It  was  reported  that  trucks  of  a  downtown  store,  each 
carrymg  about  thirty  men,  yelling  that  they  were  "Ragen's  Colts"  and  that 
"Ragen's  bunch"  were  going  to  clean  out  the  community,  came  to  Sixtieth 
Street  and  Racine  Avenue.  Some  of  the  boys  who  took  part  in  the  assault 
upon  Negroes  at  Sixtieth  and  Ada  streets  were  reputed  to  be  members  of 
"Ragen's  Colts."  The  club,  according  to  some  of  its  own  members,  operated 
with  automobiles  from  which  they  managed  to  "bump  off  a  number  of  Niggers." 
A  truck  driver  said  he  had  driven  some  "Ragen's  Colts"  to  Forty-seventh 
and  Halsted  streets,  where  they  "dropped"  foiur  or  five  people,  then  he  drove 
them  back  to  the  "Ragen's  Colts"  clubhouse  at  Fifty-second  and  Halsted 
streets.  "And, "  he  says, "  they  had  plenty  of  guns  and  ammunition."  State's 
Attorney  Hoyne,  however,  said  that  no  evidence  could  be  found  that  "Ragen's 
Colts"  had  a  store  of  arms.  Members  of  the  Illinois  Reserve  MiKtia  reported 
that  they  had  been  threatened  by  "Ragen's  Colts"  that  they  would  be  picked 
off  one  by  one  when  they  got  off  duty. 

One  of  the  most  serious  cases  of  rioting  in  which  members  of  "Ragen's 
Colts"  were  reported  to  be  impHcated  was  the  raid  upon  Shields  Avenue, 
where  there  were  nine  houses  occupied  by  Negroes.  At  8 :  30  Tuesday  evening 
200  or  300  gangsters  started  at  one  corner  and  worked  through  the  block, 
throwing  furniture  out  of  windows  and  setting  fires.  A  white  man  who  owned 
a  house  on  this  street  which  he  rented  to  Negroes  says  that  after  the  raid 
several  young  men  warned  him,  "If  you  open  your  mouth  against  'Ragen's' 
we  will  not  only  burn  your  house  down  but  we  wiU  'do'  you." 

The  Lorraine  Club,  according  to  five  witnesses,  was  also  implicated  in 
arson  and  raids  upon  homes  of  Negroes.  Their  operations,  according  to  reports, 
were  on  Forty-seventh  Street  and  on  Wells  Street  and  Wentworth  Avenue 
between  Forty-seventh  and  Forty-eighth  streets.  Negroes  were  chased, 
guns  were  fired,  windows  broken,  front  doors  smashed  in,  furniture  destroyed, 
and  finally  homes  were  burned.  AU  Negro  famiHes  were  driven  out.  The 
attack  was  planned,  and  news  of  its  imminence  spread  abroad  in  the  morning. 
Rioting  started  in  the  afternoon  of  July  29)  and  culminated  late  that  night. 
There  was  no  interference  from  the  police  at  any  time.  It  was  said  that  one 
of  the  leaders  of  the  gang  who  had  an  express  and  coal  yard  carried  away 
furniture  in  his  wagon.  Another  was  recognized  as  a  youth  who  had  shot  a 
Negro  woman  during  the  afternoon.  They  are  reported  to  have  attacked  an 
undertaker  and  friends  who  came  to  remove  the  body  of  a  dead  Negro.  Three 
of  the  rioters  were  arrested  upon  the  identification  of  several  people,  but  two 
were  released  in  the  municipal  court,  and  the  third  had  a  "no  bill"  retiurned 
before  the  grand  jury.  One  was  released  because  no  witnesses  were  present 
to  prosecute  him.    The  witnesses  said  they  were  not  notified. 

A  member  of  the  Lorraine  Club  denied  that  his  club  had  anything  to 
do  with  this  riot,  but  said  it  was  Our  Flag  Club  that  did  the  "dirty  work." 


Our  Flag  Club  is  located  farther  east  on  Forty-seventh  Street  near  Union 
Avenue.  When  John  Mills  was  dragged  from  a  street  car  at  this  point  and 
killed,  a  pohceman  recognized  several  of  the  club's  members  in  the  crowd, 
but  vouchsafed  the  opinion  that  they  were  not  part  of  the  aggressive  mob, 
" for  they  did  not  run  as  did  the  others  when  the  patrol  came  down  the  street." 
Another  policeman  said  he  had  never  had  any  trouble  with  the  club. 

Eight  members  of  the  Sparklers'  Club  were  seen  at  the  fire  at  5919  Went- 
worth  Avenue,  a  building  in  which  two  Negro  famihes  Hved.  The  arson  is 
reported  to  have  been  planned  in  a  neighboring  cigar  store.  One  of  the  boys 
put  waste  soaked  in  gasoUne  under  the  porch  and  ran.  Two  of  them  threw 
oil  in  the  building  and  two  others  ht  it.  It  took  three  attempts  to  make  a 
fire  at  this  place.  Each  time  it  was  started  the  Fire  Department  put  it  out. 
Two  of  the  boys  are  declared  to  have  stolen  phonograph  records  and  silverware 
from  the  house.  A  lad  not  a  member  of  the  club  was  with  them  at  the  fire. 
Afterward  one  of  the  boys  warned  him,  "Watch  your  dice  and  be  careful  or 
you  won't  see  your  home  any  more."  Six  boys  were  held  for  arson,  in  connec- 
tion with  this  affair;  one  was  discharged  in  the  boys'  court,  and  the  cases  of 
two  others  were  nolle  prossed.  In  connection  with  their  arrest  the  Chicago 
Tribune  of  August  15,  1919,  said: 

Evidence  that  organized  bands  of  white  youths  have  been  making  a  business  of 
burning  Negro  dwellings  was  said  to  have  been  handed  to  Attorney  General  Brundage 

and  Assistant  State's  Attorney  Irwin  Walker Chief  of  Police  Garrity,  also 

informed  of  the  Fire  Marshal's  charges,  declared  several  so-called  athletic  clubs  in 
the  Stock  Yards  district  may  lose  their  charters  as  a  result. 

A  report  about  the  Aylward  Club  was  to  the  effect  that  as  the  Negroes 
came  from  the  Stock  Yards  on  Monday,  a  gang  of  its  members  armed  with 
clubs  was  waiting  for  them  and  that  each  singled  out  a  Negro  and  beat  him, 
the  poUce  looking  on. 

The  names  of  a  number  of  gang  ringleaders  were  reported  by  investigators. 
For  illustration,  L.  Dennis,  a  Negro  of  6059  Throop  Street,  was  attacked 
on  the  night  of  Monday,  July  28,  by  a  mob  led  by  three  roughs  whose  names 
were  learned  and  whose  loafing  place  was  at  Sixty-third  Street  and  Racine 
Avenue.  A  mob  of  thirty  white  men  who  shot  Francis  Green,  Negro,  eighteen 
years  old,  at  Garfield  Boulevard  and  State  Street  had  a  club  headquarters  in 
the  vicinity  of  Fifty-fourth  Street  and  their  "hangout"  was  at  the  corner  of 
Garfield  Boulevard  and  State  Street. 

Other  clubs  mentioned  in  riot  testimony  before  the  coroner's  jiury,  but 
not  in  connection  with  riot  clashes,  are  the  Pine  Club,  the  Hamburgers,  the 
Emeralds,  the  White  Club,  Favis  Grey's,  and  the  Mayflower.  The  pohce 
closed  the  clubs  for  a  period  of  several  months  after  the  riot.  There  were  then 
in  existence  a  number  of  Negro  gambling  clubs,  and  the  state's  attorney 
declared  that  it  was  the  colored  gamblers  who  "started  this  shooting  and 
tearing  around  town,"  and  that  "as  soon  as  they  heard  the  news  that  the  boy 


Williams  was  drowned,  they  filled  three  or  four  machines  and  started  out  to 

A  saloon-keeper  near  Wabash  Avenue  and  Fifty-fifth  Street,  one  of  the 
leaders  of  these  colored  gamblers,  was  identified  by  a  white  woman  as  bemg 
in  an  automobile  with  five  other  Negroes  exhorting  colored  men  to  riot  after 
the  drowning  of  Williams.  The  next  day  he  was  arrested  in  an  automobile 
with  other  colored  men  who  were  said  to  be  shooting  into  the  homes  of  white 
people.  They  were  arrested  but  were  discharged  by  Judge  Barasa  at  the 
Stock  Yards  court. 

Pohce  raids  were  made  on  some  of  the  "Black  Belt"  clubs  on  August  23. 
At  the  Ranier  Club,  3010  South  State  Street,  two  revolvers,  one  razor, 
one  "black-jack,"  seven  cartridges,  one  cattle  knife,  and  one  ordinary  knife 
were  found.  At  the  Pioneer  Club,  3512  South  State  Street,  eight  guns,  four 
packages  of  cartridges  and  twenty-four  knives  were  taken.  A  raid  at  2700 
South  State  Street  netted  four  guns,  one  hunting-knife,  and  fifty-eight  cartridges 
and  bullets. 

The  foreman  of  the  grand  jury  which  investigated  the  riots  discussing  the 
"athletic"  and  "social"  clubs  before  the  Commission,  said: 

Most  of  them  were  closed  immediately  after  the  riots.  There  were  "Ragen's 
Colts,"  as  they  were  known,  concerning  whom  the  grand  jury  were  particularly  anxious 
to  get  something  concrete,  although  no  evidence  was  presented  that  convicted  any 
of  the  members  of  that  club.  There  were  the  Hamburgers,  another  athletic  dub, 
the  Lotus  Club,  the  Mayflower,  and  various  clubs.  These  were  white  clubs. 
Asked  if  they  really  were  athletic  clubs,  he  rephed: 

I  think  they  are  athletic  only  with  their  fists  and  brass  knuckles  and  guns.  We 
had  Mr.  Ragen  before  the  grand  jury,  and  he  told  us  of  the  noble  work  that  they 
were  doing  in  the  district,  that  Father  Brian,  who  had  charge  of  these  boys,  taught 
them  to  box  and  how  to  build  themselves  up  physically,  and  they  were  doing  a  most 
noble  work,  and  you  would  think  that  Ragen  was  a  public  benefactor.  During  the 
dehberations  of  this  grand  jury  a  number  of  anonymous  letters  were  written  with 
reference  to  "Ragen's  Colts,"  and  most  of  the  explanations  of  the  fact  that  they 
failed  to  put  their  names  on  these  letters  were  that  they  were  afraid  they  would  lose 
their  lives. 

The  grand  jury  included  in  its  report  this  reference  to  the  gang  and  club 
phase  of  the  riot: 

The  authorities  employed  to  enforce  the  law  should  thoroughly  investigate  clubs 
and  other  organizations  posing  as  athletic  and  social  clubs  which  really  are  organiza- 
tions of  hoodlums  and  criminals  formed  for  the  purpose  of  furthering  the  interest  of 
local  poHtics.  In  the  opinion  of  this  jury  many  of  the  crimes  committed  in  the 
"Black  Belt"  by  whites  and  the  fires  that  were  started  back  of  the  Yards,  which, 
however,  were  credited  to  the  Negroes,  were  more  than  likely  the  work  of  the  gangs 
operating  on  the  Southwest  Side  under  the  guise  of  these  clubs,  and  the  jury  believes 
that  these  fires  were  started  for  the  purpose  of  inciting  race  feeling  by  blaming  same 
on  the  blacks.  These  gangs  have  apparently  taken  an  active  part  in  the  race  riots, 
and  no  arrests  of  their  members  have  been  made  as  far  as  this  jury  is  aware. 





The  coroner's  jury  which  conducted  inquests  into  the  thirty-eight  riot 
deaths  said: 

The  suggestion  has  also  been  made  that  race  hatred  and  tendency  to  race  rioting 
had  its  birth  and  was  fostered  in  the  numerous  social  and  athletic  clubs  made  up  of 
young  men  and  scattered  throughout  the  city.  We  doubt  this,  but  if  in  part  true,  it 
calls  for  the  inspection  and  control  of  such  clubs.  These  clubs  are  here,  they  are 
popular,  they  take  the  place  of  the  disappearing  saloon  and  poolroom.  Properly 
governed  and  controlled,  they  should  be  encouraged  and  fostered  and,  when  necessary, 

Hoodlums  are  the  nucleus  of  a  mob — the  young,  idle,  vicious,  and  in  many 
instances  degenerate  and  criminal,  impatient  of  restraint  of  law,  gather  together,  and 
when  fortified  by  sufficient  Uumbers,  start  out  on  a  mission  of  disorder,  law-breaking, 
destruction,  and  murder.  Mobs,  white  or  colored,  grow  about  a  nucleus  of  this 

Types  of  clashes. — Racial  outbreaks  are  often  characterized  by  hangings, 
burnings,  and  mutilations,  and  frequently  the  cause  given  for  them  is  a  reported 
Negro  attack  upon  a  white  woman.  None  of  these  features  appeared  in  the 
Chicago  riot.  An  attempted  hanging  was  reported  by  a  white  detective 
but  was  unsubstantiated.  A  report  that  Joseph  Lovings,  one  of  the  Negroes 
killed  in  the  riot,  was  burned,  was  heralded  abroad  and  even  carried  to  the 
United  States  Senate,  but  it  was  false.  The  coroner's  physicians  found  no 
burns  on  his  body. 

Reports  of  assaults  upon  women  were  at  no  time  mentioned  or  even  hinted 
at  as  a  cause  of  the  Chicago  riot,  but  after  the  disorder  started  reports  of  such 
crimes  were  pubUshed  in  the  white  and  Negro  press,  but  they  had  no  foundation 
in  fact. 

Of  the  ten  women  wounded  in  the  Chicago  riot,  seven  were  white,  two  were 
Negroes,  and  the  race  of  one  is  unknown.  AU  but  one  of  these  ten  injuries 
appears  to  have  been  accidental.  The  exception  was  the  case  of  Roxy  Pratt, 
a  Negro  woman  who,  with  her  brother,  was  chased  down  Wells  Street  from 
Forty-seventh  by  gangsters  and  was  seriously  wounded  by  a  bullet.  No  cases 
of  direct  attacks  upon  white  women  by  Negro  men  were  reported. 

The  Commission  has  the  record  of  mnnerous  instances,  principally  during 
the  first  twenty-four  hours,  where  individuals  of  opposing  races  met,  knives 
or  guns  were  drawn,  and  injury  was  inflicted  without  the  element  of  mob 

On  Monday  mobs  operated  in  sudden,  excited  assaults,  and  attacks  on 
street  cars  provided  outstanding  cases,  five  persons  being  killed  and  many 
injured.  Nicholas  Kleinmark,  a  white  assailant,  was  stabbed  to  death  by  a 
Negro  named  Scott,  acting  in  self-defense.  Negroes  killed  were  Hemy  Good- 
man at  Thirtieth  and  Union  streets;  John  Mills,  on  Forty-seventh  Street 
near  Union;  Louis  Taylor  at  Root  Street  and  Wentworth  Avenue;  and  B.  F. 
Hardy  at  Forty-sixth  Street  and  Cottage  Grove  Avenue.  All  died  from 


Crowds  armed  themselves  with  stones,  bricks,  and  baseball  bats  and 
scanned  passing  street  cars  for  Negroes.  Finding  them,  trolleys  were  pulled 
off  wires  and  entrance  to  the  cars  forced.  '  Negroes  were  dragged  from  under 
car  seats  and  beaten.  Once  off  the  car  the  chase  began.  If  possible,  the 
vanguard  of  the  mob  caught  the  fleeing  Negroes  and  beat  them  with  clubs.  If 
the  Negro  outran  the  pursuers,  stones  and  bricks  brought  him  down.  Some- 
times the  chase  led  through  back  yards  and  over  fences,  but  it  was  always  short. 

Another  type  of  race  warfare  was  the  automobile  raids  carried  on  by  young 
men  crowded  in  cars,  speeding  across  the  dead  line  at  Wentworth  Avenue 
and  the  "Black  Belt,"  and  firing  at  random.  Crowded  colored  districts, 
with  people  sitting  on  front  steps  and  in  open  windows,  were  subjected  to  this 
menace.  Strangely  enough,  only  one  person  was  killed  in  these  raids,  Henry 
Baker,  Negro. 

Automobile  raids  were  reported  wherever  colored  people  had  estabhshed 
themselves,  in  the  "Black  Belt,"  both  on  the  main  business  streets  and  in 
the  residence  sections,  and  in  the  small  community  near  Ada  and  Loomis 
streets  in  the  vicinity  of  Ogden  Park. 

These  raids  began  Monday  night,  continued  spasmodically  all  day  Tuesday, 
and  were  again  prevalent  that  night.  In  spite  of  the  long  period,  reports  of 
motorcycle  poHcemen  show  no  white  raiders  arrested.  One  suspected  raiding 
automobile  was  caught  on  State  Street  Tuesday  night,  after  coUision  with  a 
patrol  wagon.  One  of  the  occupants,  a  white  man,  had  on  his  person  the 
badge  and  identification  card  of  a  pohceman  assigned  to  the  Twenty-fourth 
Precinct.  No  case  was  worked  up  against  him,  and  the  other  men  in  the 
machine  were  not  heard  of  again  in  connection  with  the  raid. 

Most  of  the  pohce  motorcycle  squad  was  assigned  to  the  Stanton  Avenue 
station,  which  was  used  as  poUce  headquarters  in  the  "  Black  Belt."  Several 
automobile  loads  of  Negroes  were  arrested,  and  firearms  were  found  either 
upon  their  persons  or  in  the  automobUe. 

In  only  two  cases  were  Negroes  aggressively  rioting  found  outside  of  the 
"Black  Belt."  One  of  these  was  the  case  of  the  saloon-keeper  already  men- 
tioned, and  the  other  was  that  of  a  deputy  sheriff,  who,  with  a  party  of  other 
men,  said  they  were  on  the  way  to  the  Stock  Yards  to  rescue  some  beleaguered 
members  of  their  race.  It  is  reported  that  they  wounded  five  white  people 
en  route.  Sheriff  Peters  said  he  understood  that  the  deputy  sheriff  was 
attacked  by  white  mobs  and  fired  to  clear  the  crowd.    He  was  not  convicted. 

"Sniping"  was  a  form  of  retaliation  by  Negroes  which  grew  out  of  the 
automobile  raids.  These  raiding  automobiles  were  fixed  upon  from  yards, 
porches,  and  windows  throughout  the  "Black  Belt."  One  of  the  most  serious 
cases  reported  was  at  Thirty-first  and  State  streets,  where  Negroes  barricaded 
the  streets  with  rubbish  boxes.  Motorcycle  Pohceman  Cheney  rammed 
through  and  was  hit  by  a  bullet.  His  companion  officer  following  was  knocked 
from  his  machine  and  the  machine  pxmctured  with  bullets. 


After  the  wounding  of  Policeman  Cheney  and  Sergeant  Murray,  of  the 
Sixth  Precinct,  poHcemen  made  a  thorough  search  of  all  Negro  homes  near 
the  scene  of  the  "sniping."  Thirty-four  Negroes  were  arrested.  Of  these, 
ten  were  discharged,  ten  were  found  not  guilty,  one  was  given  one  day  in  jail, 
one  was  given  five  days  in  jail,  one  was  fined  and  put  on  probation,  two  were 
fined  $10  and  costs,  one  was  fined  $25;  six  were  given  thirty  days  each  in  the 
House  of  Correction,  and  one,  who  admitted  firing  twice  but  said  he  was  firing 
at  one  of  the  automobiles,  was  sentenced  to  six  months  in  the  House  of  Correc- 
tion.   His  case  was  taken  to  the  appellate  court. 

Concerted  retahatory  race  action  showed  itself  in  the  Italian  district 
around  Taylor  and  Loomis  streets  when  rumor  said  that  a  little  Itahan  girl 
had  been  killed  or  wounded  by  a  shot  fired  by  a  Negro.  Joseph  Lovings,  an 
innocent  Negro,  came  upon  the  excited  crowd  of  ItaUans.  There  was  a  short 
chase  through  back  yards.  Finally  Lovings  was  dragged  from  his  hiding- 
place  in  a  basement  and  brutally  murdered  by  the  crowd.  The  coroner 
reported  foiurteen  bullet  wounds  on  his  body,  eight  still  having  bullets  in  them; 
also  various  stab  wounds,  contusions  of  the  head,  and  fractures  of  the  skull. 
Rumor  made  the  tale  more  hideous,  saying  that  Lovings  was  burned  after 
gasohne  had  been  poured  over  the  dead  body.    This  was  not  true. 

This  same  massing  of  race  against  race  was  shown  in  a  similar  clash  between 
Itahans  and  Negroes  on  the  North  Side.  The  results  here,  however,  were  not 
serious.  It  was  reported  in  this  last  case  that  immediately  after  the  fracas 
the  Negroes  and  ItaUans  were  again  on  good  terms.  This  was  not  true  in 
the  neighborhood  of  the  Lovings  outrage.  Miss  Jane  Addams,  of  Hull-House, 
which  is  near  the  scene  of  Lovings'  death,  testified  before  the  Commission 
that  before  the  riot  the  Itahans  held  no  particular  animosity  toward  Negroes, 
for  those  ia  the  neighborhood  were  mostly  from  South  Italy  and  accustomed 
to  the  dark-skinned  races,  but  that  they  were  developing  antipathy.  In  the 
September  following  the  riot,  she  said  the  neighborhood  was  still  full  of  wild 
stories  so  stereot3rped  in  character  that  they  appeared  to  indicate  propaganda 
spread  for  a  purpose. 

The  gang  which  operated  in  the  "Loop"  was  composed  partly  of  soldiers 
and  sailors  in  uniform;  they  were  boys  of  from  seventeen  to  twenty- two, 
out  for  a  "rough"  time  and  using  race  prejudice  as  a  shield  for  robbery.  At 
times  this  crowd  numbered  100.  Its  depredations  began  shortly  after  2 :  00  a.m. 
Tuesday.  The  La  Salle  Street  railroad  station  was  entered  twice,  and  Negro 
men  were  beaten  and  robbed.  About  3:00  a.m.  activities  were  transferred 
to  Wabash  Avenue.  In  the  hunt  for  Negroes  one  restaurant  was  wrecked 
and  the  vandahsm  was  continued  in  another  restaurant  where  two  Negroes 
were  found.  One  was  severely  injured  and  the  other  was  shot  down.  The 
gangsters  rolled  the  body  into  the  gutter  and  turned  the  pockets  inside  out;  they 
stood  on  the  corner  of  Wabash  Avenue  and  Adams  Street  and  divided  the  spoils, 
openlyboasting  later  of  having  secured  $52, a  diamond  ring,  a  watch,  and  a  brooch. 


Attacks'in  the  "Loop"  continued  as  late  as  ten  o'clock  Tuesday  morning, 
Negroes  being  chased  through  the  streets  and  beaten.  Warned  by  the  Pinker- 
ton  Detective  Agency,  business  men  with  stores  on  Wabash  Avenue  came  to 
protect  their  property.  The  rioting  was  reported  to  the  pohce  by  the  restaurant 
men.  Policemen  rescued  two  Negroes  that  morning,  but  so  many  poKcemen 
had  been  concentrated  in  and  near  the  "Black  Belt"  that  there  were  only 
a  few  patrohnen  in  the  whole  "Loop"  district,  and  these  did  not  actively 
endeavor  to  cope  with  the  mob.  In  the  meantime  two  Negroes  were  killed 
and  others  injured,  while  property  was  seriously  damaged. 

Tuesday's  raids  marked  the  peak  of  daring  during  the  riot,  and  their 
subsidence  was  as  gradual  as  their  rise.  For  the  next  two  days  the  gangs 
roamed  the  streets,  intermittently  attacking  Negro  homes.  After  Tuesday 
midnight  their  operations  were  not  so  open  or  so  concerted.  The  riot  gradually 
decreased  in  feeling  and  scope  till  the  last  event  of  a  serious  nature  occurred, 
the  incendiary  fires  back  of  the  Stock  Yards. 

While  there  is  general  agreement  that  these  fires  were  incendiary,  no  clue 
could  be  found  to  the  perpetrators.  Negroes  were  suspected,  as  aU  the  houses 
burned  belonged  to  whites.  In  spite  of  this  fact,  and  the  testimony  of  thirteen 
people  who  said  they  saw  Negroes  in  the  vicinity  before  or  during  the  fires, 
a  rumor  persisted  that  the  fires  were  set  by  white  people  with  blackened  faces. 
One  of  the  men  living  in  the  burned  district  who  testified  to  seeing  a  motor 
truck  filled  with  Negroes  said,  when  asked  about  the  color  of  the  men,  "  Sure, 
I  know  they  were  colored.  Of  course  I  don't  know  whether  they  were 
painted."  An  early  miUc-wagon  driver  said  that  he  saw  Negroes  come  out 
of  a  barn  on  Forty-third  Street  and  Hermitage  Avenue.  Immediately  after- 
ward the  barn  burst  into  flames.  He  ran  to  a  policeman  and  reported  it. 
The  policeman  said  he  was  "too  busy"  and  "it  is  aU  right  anyway."  One  of 
the  colonels  commanding  a  regiment  of  miHtia  said  he  thought  white  people 
with  blackened  faces  had  set  fixe  to  the  houses;  he  got  this  opinion  from  talking 
to  the  police  in  charge  of  that  district. 

Miss  Mary  McDowell,  of  the  University  of  Chicago  Settlement,  which  is 
located  back  of  the  Yards,  said  in  testimony  before  the  Commission: 

I  don't  think  the  Negroes  did  bum  the  houses.  I  think  the  white  hoodlums 
burned  them.  The  Negroes  weren't  back  there,  they  stayed  at  home  after  that 
Monday.  When  we  got  hold  of  the  firemen  confidentially,  they  said  no  Negroes 
set  fire  to  them  at  all,  but  the  newspapers  said  so  and  the  people  were  full  of  fear. 
All  kinds  of  mythical  stories  were  afloat  for  some  time. 

The  general  superintendent  of  Armour  &  Company  was  asked,  when  testi- 
fying before  the  Commission,  if  he  knew  of  any  substantial  reason  why 
Negroes  were  accused  of  setting  fires  back  of  the  Yards.    He  answered: 

That  statement  was  originated  in  the  minds  of  a  few  individuals,  radicals.  It 
does  not  exist  in  the  minds  of  the  conservative  and  thinking  people  of  the  community, 
even  those  Uving  in  back  of  the  Yards.    They  know  better.    I  believe  it  goes  without 


sajdng  that  there  isn't  a  colored  man,  regardless  of  how  little  brains  he'd  have,  who 
would  attempt  to  go  over  into  the  Polish  district  and  set  fire  to  anybody's  house 
over  there.    He  wouldn't  get  that  far. 

The  controlling  superintendent  of  Swift  &  Company  said  he  could  not  say  it 
from  his  own  experience,  but  he  understood  there  was  as  much  friction  between 
the  Poles  and  Lithuanians  who  worked  together  in  the  Yards  as  between  the 
Negroes  and  the  whites.  The  homes  burned  belonged  to  Lithuanians.  The 
grand  jury  stated  in  its  report:  "  The  jury  believes  that  these  fires  were  started 
for  the  pturpose  of  inciting  race  feeling  by  blaming  same  on  the  blacks." 

The  methods  of  attack  used  by  Negroes  and  whites  during  the  riot  differed; 
the  Negroes  usually  clung  to  individual  attack  and  the  whites  to  mob  action. 
Negroes  used  chiefly  firearms  and  knives,  and  the  whites  used  their  fists, 
bricks,  stones,  baseball  bats,  pieces  of  iron,  hammers.  Among  the  white  men, 
69  per  cent  were  shot  or  stabbed  and  31  per  cent  were  beaten;  among  the 
Negroes  almost  the  reverse  was  true,  35  per  cent  being  shot  and  stabbed  and 
65  per  cent  beaten.  A  colonel  in  charge  of  a  regiment  of  militia  on  riot  duty 
says  they  found  few  whites  but  many  Negroes  armed. 

Arms  and  ammunition. — ^The  foregoing  figures  and  statements  gave  some 
color  to  the  belief  persistent  during  and  after  the  riot  that  Negroes  had  stores 
of  arms  and  ammunition.  A  lieutenant  of  police  testified  before  the  coroner's 
jury  that  he  had  known  in  advance  that  the  riot  was  coming  because  "  there 
were  guns  in  every  house  out  there;  I  knew  they  were  there  for  a  purpose." 
He  said  he  had  heard  that  Negroes  had  been  advised  to  arm  themselves  and 
defend  their  homes,  that  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States  provided  for 
that.  The  state's  attorney  said  before  the  Commission  that  prior  to  the 
riot  he  had  received  reports  from  detectives  of  private  agencies  stating  the  same 
thing.  He  was  informed  that  Negroes  readily  got  firearms  from  Gary,  Indiana, 
and  that  porters  on  the  PuUman  trains  brought  them  in  from  outside  places. 
He  further  stated:  "I  am  very  definitely  assxured  of  the  fact  that  they  were 
arming  and  that  there  were  more  arms  and  weapons  grouped  in  that  general 
district  loosely  termed  the  'Black  Belt'  than  any  place  else,  and  my  informa- 
tion is  that  conditions  are  that  way  now." 

Dmring  the  riot  there  were  frequent  rumors  that  Negroes  had  broken  into 
the  Eighth  Regiment  Armory  for  guns  and  ammunition,  but  all  these  rumors 
were  proved  false. 

Since  the  riot  many  tales  have  been  told  of  stores  of  arms  brought  in  by 
Pullman  porters  and  by  white  prostitutes.  Mexicans  were  reported  to  be 
assisting  Negroes  in  the  manufacture  of  bombs  and  hand  grenades.  Lists  of 
addresses  where  ammunition  was  being  stored  have  been  gathered  by  detec- 
tives, but  not  verified. 

The  same  sort  of  rumors  are  found  circulating  among  the  Negroes  in  regard 
to  the  arming  of  whites.  It  is  said  that  such  and  such  white  men  have  great 
boxes  of  guns  and  ammunition  in  the  cellars  of  their  homes,  and  that  white 


men  are  forming  shooting  clubs  for  the  purpose  of  attacking  Negroes  in  the 
event  of  another  riot.  There  are  also  widely  believed  stories  that  a  department 
store  sold  guns  to  white  people  before  the  riot  but  refused  to  sell  to  Negroes.  It 
was  said  that  pawn  shops  sold  to  white  people  without  permits  from  the  police. 
Crowds  and  mobs.— It  may  be  observed  that  a  crowd  is  merely  a  gathering 
of  people  while  a  mob  is  a  crowd  with  its  attention  so  strongly  fixed  upon  some 
lawless  purpose  that  other  purposes  are  inhibited  and  it  acts  along  the  line 
of  the  one  purpose.  During  the  riot  many  crowds  of  curiosity  seekers  were 
transformed  into  vicious  mobs  when  exciting  rumors  circulated  and  the  sugges- 
tion of  vengeance  was  made  by  leaders.  Such  suggestion  was  frequently 
accompanied  by  some  daring  act,  stimulated  by  the  excitement. 

The  mob  in  its  entirety  usually  did  not  participate  actively.  It  was  one 
in  spirit,  but  divided  in  performance  into  a  small  active  nucleus  and  a  large 
proportion  of  spectators.  The  nucleus  was  composed  of  young  men  from 
sixteen  to  twenty-one  or  twenty-two  years  of  age.  Sometimes  only  four  would 
be  active  while  fifty  or  150  looked  on,  but  at  times  the  proportion  would  be  as 
great  as  twenty-five  in  200  or  fifty  in  300.  Fifty  is  the  largest  number  reported 
for  a  mob  nucleus.  This  was  in  the  case  of  John  Mills  and  five  other  Negroes 
who  were  beaten,  dragged  ofi  a  Forty-seventh  Street  car  and  chased,  Mills 
being  killed.  Here  there  were  three  degrees  of  crowd  formation.  First  came 
the  nucleus  of  fifty  active  men  who  did  the  beating,  chasing,  and  killing. 
Closely  aiding  and  abetting  them  were  300  or  400  others.  After  the  Negroes 
had  been  forced  ofi  the  car  and  were  being  hunted  through  the  neighborhood 
a  crowd  of  about  2,000  gathered  and  followed  the  vanguard  of  attackers 
and  spectators.  These  were  present  out  of  morbid  curiosity,  but  sufficiently 
imbued  with  the  spirit  of  the  mob  not  to  interfere  with  the  outrages. 

The  fact  that  children  were  frequently  a  part  of  mobs  is  one  of  the  thought- 
provoking  facts  of  the  Chicago  riot.  Psychologists  say  that  impressions  made 
upon  the  child  mind  are  forces  which  mold  adult  character  to  a  great  extent. 
A  number  of  children,  some  not  more  than  four  or  five  years  old,  swarmed 
in  front  of  the  Forty-seventh  Street  car  in  the  John  Mills  case  and  effectively 
blocked  it  while  men  climbed  aboard  and  sought  out  the  Negroes.  Children, 
often  witnesses  of  mob  brutality,  ran  to  where  Negro  victims  had  fallen  and 
pointed  them  out  to  the  pohcemen  who  came  up  after  the  mobs  had  dispersed. 

There  were  others,  stiU  children  in  mind,  Negro  boys  of  fifteen,  accused 
of  murders.  The  enormity  of  their  acts  faded  in  the  joy  of  describing  their 
weapons.  "Fat  had  a  club;  it  looked  like  a  police  club,"  said  one,  "it  had 
leather  on  it."  "  And  the  gun  had  a  little  picture  of  an  owl  on  the  side  of  it, " 
said  another  describing  a  patched-up  weapon  that  brought  down  a  white 
laboring-man  who  left  a  widow  and  eight  children. 

Among  the  spectators  of  mob  violence  were  men,  women,  and  children 
of  all  ages;  they  included  tradesmen,  craftsmen,  salesmen,  laborers.  Though 
the  spectators  did  not  commit  the  crimes,  they  must  share  the  moral  responsi- 



bility.  Without  the  spectators  mob  violence  would  probably  have  stopped 
short  of  murder  in  many  cases.  An  example  of  the  behavior  of  the  active 
nucleus  when  out  of  sight  of  the  spectators  bears  this  out.  George  Carr, 
Negro,  was  chased  from  a  street  car.  He  outstripped  all  but  the  vanguard 
of  the  mob  by  climbing  fences  and  hiding  in  a  back  yard.  This  concealed 
him  from  the  rest  of  the  crowd,  who  by  that  time  were  chasing  other  Negroes. 
The  young  men  who  followed  Carr  left  him  without  striking  a  blow,  upon  his 
mere  request  for  clemency.  In  regard  to  the  large  non-active  elements  in 
the  crowds,  the  coroner  said  during  the  inquest,  "It  is  just  the  swelling  of 
crowds  of  that  kind  that  urges  them  on,  because  they  naturally  feel  that  they 
are  backed  up  by  the  balance  of  the  crowd,  which  may  not  be  true,  but  they 
feel  that  way."  Juror  Ware  said,  "If  sightseers  were  lending  their  aid  and 
assistance—"  Juror  Dillon  interrupted  and  finished,  "they  ought  to  be 

Often  the  "  sightseers  "  and  even  those  included  in  the  nucleus  did  not  know 
why  they  had  taken  part  in  crimes  the  viciousness  of  which  was  not  apparent 
to  them  until  afterward.  A  mere  attempt  to  cover  up  participation  would 
have  called  forth  excuses  in  testimony,  but  their  answers  show  irritation  at 
the  questioning,  an  inability  to  appreciate  the  situation,  or  complete  bewilder- 
ment. These  excerpts  from  the  testimony  before  the  coroner's  jury  are 
examples : 

Hemy  Woodman,  in  the  mob  at  Sixtieth  and  Ada  streets:  "I  don't  know. 
I  didn't  have  any  grudge  against  them  [the  Negroes].  But  they  [the  mob] 
seemed  to  have  it  in  for  the  colored  people.    That  is  all." 

Edward  Klose,  in  the  mob  in  front  of  102 1  South  State  Street:  "1  followed 
the  crowd,  and  I  was  in  there  because  I  was  in  there;  they  all  bunched  around 
and  what  could  I  do  ?  " 

One  of  the  boys  in  the  mob  at  Forty-third  Street  and  ForrestviUe  Avenue: 
"I  just  wanted  to  see  how  things  were  getting  along.  We  wanted  to  see 
what  the  riot  looked  like." 

Another  of  this  same  crowd:  "I  was  following  the  rest.  I  wanted  to  see 
what  they  were  going  to  do." 

Another  from  the  same  mob:  "When  they  started  to  grab  them  [the 
Negroes]  in  the  lot,  I  rushed  over  directly  to  the  conflict,  by  the  colored  men, 
thinking  I  would  see  more  on  that  side." 

Mobs  got  under  way  for  the  commission  of  atrocities  by  having  the  direct 
suggestion  put  to  them  by  one  of  the  leaders.  With  minds  already  prepared 
by  rumors  circulating  wherever  crowds  gathered,  it  was  easy  to  arouse  action. 
A  street  car  approaching  and  the  cry,  "Get  the  niggers!"  was  enough. 
Prompt  action  clinched  the  idea,  and  the  emotion  of  the  attack  narrowed  the 
field  of  consciousness.    War  cries  aided  in  keeping  emotion  at  fever  heat. 

"Get  the  nigger!"    "KiU  the  black  —  of  a 1"    "Kill  him!"    These 

were  always  an  incident  of  mob  action. 


Counter-suggestion  was  not  tolerated  when  the  mob  was  rampant.  A 
suggestion  of  clemency  was  shouted  down  with  the  derisive  epithet,  "Nigger 
lover!"  Silenced  objectors  made  no  further  effort  to  thwart  mob  action. 
There  are  no  records  of  such  persons  notifying  the  pohce  or  persisting  in  their 
remonstrances.  Those  whose  objections  took  the  form  of  action  against 
the  mob  met  with  violence.  A  white  man,  an  instructor  in  music  at  the 
University  of  Chicago,  saw  several  white  men  attack  a  Negro  who  was  waiting 
for  a  street  car  at  Sixty-third  Street  and  Cottage  Grove  Avenue.  Without 
trying  verbal  remonstrance  he  struck  out  at  them.  His  glasses  were  knocked 
oS,  and  he  was  thrown  into  the  middle  of  the  street  and  left  unconscious. 

Not  only  did  action  once  under  way  make  interference  hazardous,  but  it 
brought  into  the  mob  circle  a  greater  number  of  participants  and  increased 
its  energy.  Five  men  jerked  a  trolley  from  the  wires;  ten  men  boarded  the 
car;  twenty-five  men  chased  and  beat  the  routed  Negroes.  The  mob  action 
grew  faster  than  the  increase  in  munbers.  Ideas  suggested  by  individual 
members  were  quickly  carried  out  in  the  action  of  all.  The  mob  as  a  whole 
and  the  individuals  in  it  increased  in  fury,  and  a  normal  street  crowd  was 
often  turned  from  peaceful  assemblage  to  brutal  murder. 

A  sharp  diversion  of  attention  sometimes  caused  the  dispersal  of  mobs. 
An  unexpected  revolver  shot  was  the  most  effective  means  of  such  diversion. 
Here  are  some  instances: 

When  Thomas  Joshua,  a  Negro  boy,  was  shot  by  PoHce  Lieutenant  Day, 
a  throng  of  Negroes  came  on  the  run  from  State  Street.  The  officers,  terrified, 
escaped  in  a  taxi,  leaving  their  own  automobile  behind.  The  mob  attempted 
to  make  this  car  suffer  vicariously  for  the  escaped  police  officers.  Other 
policemen  on  the  scene  had  difficulty  in  holding  them  back.  Two  shots  were 
heard  on  Federal  Street.  Immediately  the  crowd  ceased  its  clamoring,  left 
the  automobile,  and  apparently  lost  all  thought  of  Lieutenant  Day  and  ran 
to  Federal  Street. 

In  the  first  mob  of  the  riot,  that  at  Twenty-ninth  Street  and  Cottage 
Grove  Avenue,  Negroes  and  policemen  were  struggling  in  a  mass  in  the  middle 
of  the  street.  A  shot  was  fired  by  James  Crawford,  and  the  mob  dispersed 
from  that  corner. 

A  mob  chased  a  Negro  off  a  street  car  on  Thirty-ninth  Street  near  Wal- 
lace. A  poUceman  with  presence  of  mind  followed  the  group  into  the  alley, 
fired  a  few  shots  in  the  air,  and  the  crowd  ran. 

In  no  case  where  an  unexpected  shot  was  fired  did  it  fail  to  scatter  the  mob, 
but  shooting  which  was  part  of  the  mob's  own  action  did  not  seem  to  have 
the  same  effect. 

The  course  of  one  riotous  mob  can  be  traced  in  the  activities  of  a  certain 
group  of  five  white  boys  who  Unked  up  with  the  riot  excitement.  They  met 
at  the  corner^^of  Sixty-thurd  Street  and  Ingleside  Avenue  at  8 :  30  Monday  even- 
ing.   While  they  were  tr3dng  to  decide  which  movie  to  attend,  a  taxi  driver 


informed  them  of  a  riot  at  Forty-seventh  Street.  They  took  the  "  L  "  to  Forty- 
seventh  Street  and  joined  the  mob.  From  then  until  2:00  a.m.  they  were 
active  in  mobs  which  assaulted  Negroes  at  several  points.  Two  were  beaten 
at  Forty-seventh  Street  and  the  elevated  railway.  The  mob  then  proceeded 
to  Fifty-first  Street,  but  the  poUce  drove  it  back  and  it  moved  on  to  Indiana 
Avenue  and  Forty-third  Street,  where  a  deputy  sheriff  held  it  off.  Returning 
here  later  it  attacked  a  street  car,  beat  a  Negro,  and  then  moved  south  on 
Indiana  Avenue,  jerking  trolleys  from  wires  and  assaulting  passengers.  At 
Forty-fifth  Street  a  shot  fired  by  a  police  sergeant  scattered  it  toward  Forty- 
third  Street. 

There  the  mob  met  Lieutenant  Washington,  a  Negro  ex-soldier,  who,  with 
five  Negro  companions,  was  obhged  to  walk  across  town  because  car  service 
had  been  discontinued  on  account  of  the  rioting.  Lieutenant  Washington, 
testifjdng  before  the  coroner's  jury,  gave  this  account  of  the  affair: 

After  we  crossed  Grand  Boulevard  I  heard  a  yell,  "One,  two,  three,  four,  five, 
six,''  and  then  they  gave  a  loud  cheer  and  said,  "Everybody,  let's  get  the  niggers! 
Let's  get  the  niggers,"  and  we  noticed  some  of  them  crossed  the  street  and  walked 
on  up  even  with  us.  Therestof  them  were  about  ten  or  fifteen  feet  north  .  .  .  .there 
were  about  between  four  and  six  men  ....  crossed  the  street  and  got  in  front  of 
us  .  .  .  .  just  before  we  got  to  ForrestviUe  Avenue,  about  twenty  yards,  they  swarmed 
ia  on  us. 

After  this  attack,  in  which  Lieutenant  Browning  was  shot,  and  Clarence 
Metz,  a  white  boy,  was  killed  by  a  stab  wound  inflicted  by  Lieutenant  Washing- 
ton in  self-defense,  the  mob  moved  on  to  Grand  Boulevard,  preceded  by  the 
rumor  that  it  intended  to  attack  the  homes  of  Negroes.  A  shot  from  a  house 
grazed  a  white  lad,  and  the  crowd  went  on,  leaving  the  pohce  to  come  and 
arrest  the  Negroes  who  had  fired. 

Mob  action  in  planned  attacks  was  more  daring,  but  not  more  dangerous. 
Robbery  was  occasionally  an  accompaniment  of  spontaneous  attack,  but  arson 
never.  Whether  or  not  some  of  the  organized  raids  could  readily  have  been 
stopped  by  the  pohce,  and  the  mobs  dispersed,  remains  unproved.  No 
attempt  was  made  either  in  the  "Loop"  district,  in  the  Forty-seventh  and 
Wells  streets  districts  or  in  the  Sixty-ninth  and  Elizabeth  streets  district  to 
check  the  depredations. 

Rumor. — ^Rumor  was  often  the  first  step  in  crowd  formation  and  often 
opened  the  way  for  the  sharp  transformation  of  a  crowd  into  a  mob.  The 
circulation  of  rumors  was  partly  due  to  natural  repetition,  often  with  increasing 
embellishment,  by  one  person  to  another  of  what  he  had  heard  or  read.  The 
desire  to  tell  a  "big  story"  and  create  a  sensation  was  no  doubt  an  important 
factor.  With  so  much  bitter  feeling  there  was  also  considerable  conscious 
effort  to  provoke  vengeful  animosity  by  telling  the  worst  that  the  teller  had 
heard  or  could  imagine  about  the  doings  of  the  opposite  race.  The  latter 
t3^e  of  rumor  circulation  especially  fed  the  riot  from  the  beginning  to  the 



final  clash.    It  continues  to  be  a  constant  menace  to  the  friendly  relations 
of  the  races. 

Newspapers  were  often  supphed  a  source  of  rumor  material  through 
mistake  in  fundamental  facts,  due  either  to  misinformation  or  exaggeration. 

In  considering  the  newspaper  handhng  of  riot  news,  it  should  be  borne  in 
mind  that  the  task  was  most  difficult  during  a  period  of  such  excitement 
and  such  crowding  of  events.  Further  it  must  be  considered  that  white 
reporters  might  very  justifiably  avoid  the  risk  of  seeking  news  where 
crowds  of  Negroes  had  been  roused  to  a  high  pitch  of  resentment  against 
whites.  There  were  doubtless  instances  in  which  news  was  secured  from 
sources  ordinarily  trustworthy,  but  inaccurate  during  the  riot.  On  the  other 
hand,  it  must  be  recognized  that  in  a  time  of  such  excitement  the  effect  of 
sensational  news  on  the  popular  mind  is  generally  accentuated,  and  the  responsi- 
bihty  for  careful  handhng  of  news  is  correspondingly  greater.  Where  bias 
is  as  pronounced  as  in  a  race  riot  it  is  of  the  utmost  importance  that  essential 
facts  be  stated  correctly. 



Ndubee  or  Injdked  as 

Reported  by  the 
'TEiBraiE"  AND  "Herald- 
Examiner"  DURING  THE 
First  Fotis  Days  oe 




Facts  as  Later  Obtained  frou 
Police,  State's  Attorney, 

Hospital  Reports,  and  Ouvet 

Baptist  Chorch,  Covering 

Each  Day 





July  27 

July  28 

July  29 

July  30 


Percentage  of  total 


























Reports  of  numbers  of  dead  and  injured  tended  to  produce  a  feeUng  that 
the  score  must  be  evened  up  on  the  basis  of  "an  eye  for  an  eye,"  a  Negro 
for  a  white,  or  vice  versa.  A  most  unfortunate  impression  may  be  made  upon 
an  excited  pubhc,  Negro  and  white,  by  such  erroneous  reporting  as  the  follow- 
ing, in  which  newspapers,  although  they  understated  rather  than  exaggerated 
the  number  of  injuries,  reported  that  6  per  cent  more  whites  were  injured 
than  Negroes,  when  the  fact  was  that  28  per  cent  more  Negroes  were  injured 
than  whites. 

The  Tribune  of  July  29  in  a  news  item  said  that  before  3  :oo  a.m.,  July  29, 
twenty  persons  had  been  killed,  of  whom  thirteen  were  white  and  seven  colored. 
The  truth  was  that  of  twenty  killed,  seven  were  white  and  thirteen  colored.' 

'  Figures  compaed  from  police  reports,  state's  attorney  reports,  hospital  reports,  and 
Olivet  Baptist  Church  reports. 


The  Daily  News  of  July  29  gave  the  starting-point  of  the  riot  as  the  Angelus 
clash,  referring  to  it  as  "  the  center  of  the  trouble."  The  same  item  mentioned 
the  spread  to  the  Stock  Yards  district.  The  fact  was  that  the  assault  upon 
street  cars  in  the  Stock  Yards  district  Monday  afternoon  and  rimiors  of 
further  brutahties  there  helped  to  start  the  Angelus  riot  Monday  evening.' 

The  Tribune  of  July  30  stated  that  "the  Black  Belt  continues  to  be  the 
center  of  conflict."  Up  to  July  30  the  "Black  Belt"  had  witnessed  120 
injuries,  while  the  district  west  of  Wentworth  Avenue  had  had  139.  For  the 
entire  riot  period  the  "Black  Belt"  furnished  34  per  cent  of  the  total  mmiber 
of  injuries,  and  the  district  west  of  Wentworth  Avenue  41  per  cent. 

Exaggeration  in  news  reports,  when  popular  excitement  is  at  a  high  pitch, 
is  peculiarly  dangerous.  For  the  very  reason  that  the  essential  fact  seems 
authenticated  by  the  simultaneous  appearance  of  the  gist  of  the  report  in 
several  papers,  the  individual  reader  is  the  more  inchned  to  beUeve  such 
exaggerations  as  may  appear  in  his  favorite  journal. 

Cases  of  exaggeration  could  be  adduced  from  every  Chicago  newspaper, 
but  a  t)^ical  one  is  the  report  in  the  Chicago  Daily  News  of  July  29  concerning 
the  kiUing  of  Harold  Brignadello,  white.    This  item  said: 

Four  women  and  nine  men  are  held  at  the  South  Clark  Street  Station  after  their 
arrest  at  1021  South  State  Street,  where  they  had  a  formidable  arsenal. 

Harry  Signadell  [sic],  35,  white,  died  on  the  way  to  St.  Luke's  Hospital  shortly 
before  noon  after  his  buUet-riddled  body  had  been  picked  up  by  the  pohce  in  front  of 
1021  South  State  Street,  where  a  colored  woman  and  20  other  Negroes  had  barricaded 
themselves  and  were  shooting  at  aU  whites  who  passed  the  place. 

Other  persons  arrested  included  Kate  Elder,  26  years  old,  who  gave  her  home  as 
the  State  Street  address.  In  all,  four  women  and  nine  men  were  made  prisoners  at 
the  raid  on  the  place  which  was  found  to  be  an  arsenal  for  the  Negro  rioters.  Two 
revolvers,  two  rifles,  an  axe,  several  knives,  and  several  hundred  rounds  of  ammuni- 
tion, including  38  and  48  [sic]  calibre  cartridges,  were  discovered  piled  up  near  the 
window  from  which  the  Negroes  had  been  shooting. 

Patrolman  John  Hayes,  of  the  South  Clark  Street  Station,  heard  the  shots  fired 
by  the  Negroes  who  were  firing  from  the  house  and  saw  the  spurts  of  fire  from  their 
rifles  and  revolvers  whenever  whites  ventured  to  pass  the  place.  An  unknown  white 
man,  a  victim  of  the  Negroes'  bullets,  was  found  lying  on  the  sidewalk.  He  was 
rushed  to  St.  Luke's  Hospital  where  he  died. 

The  facts  of  this  case,  as  reported  by  the  coroner's  jury  are  as  follows: 

....  Harold  Brignadello  ....  came  to  his  death  on  the  29th  day  of  July, 
A.D.  1919,  at  St.  Luke's  Hospital  from  shock  and  hemorrhage  due  to  a  bullet  wound 
in  the  chest  cavity. 

[Note.— "a  bullet  wound,"  not  "bullet-riddled."] 

We  find  the  deceased  whUe  standing  at  the  southwest  comer  of  State  and  Tay- 
lor ...  .  was  shot  and  wounded  by  a  bullet  fired  from  the  revolver  held  in  the  hand 
of  one  Emma  Jackson  who  was  standing  at  an  open  window  on  the  second  floor  of 
the  premises  at  1021  South  State  Street. 

"  Testimony  before  the  coroner's  jury. 


Testimony  shows  that  just  prior  to  the  shooting,  said  premises  had  been  stoned 
by  a  mob  of  white  men. 

We,  the  jury,  recommend  that  the  said  Emma  Jackson,  said  Kate  Elder,  said 
John  Webb,  said  Ed.  Robinson,  and  said  Clarence  Jones  be  held  to  the  grand  jury 
upon  a  charge  of  murder  until  discharged  by  dueprocess  of  law. 

[Note. — ^Two  women  and  three  men,  not  "four  women  and  nine  men,"  nor  yet 
"a  colored  woman  and  20  other  Negroes."  They  were  indicted  by  the  grand  jury 
but  found  not  guUty.] 

We  believe  from  the  evidence  that  the  police  have  sufficient  information  as  to  the 
identity  of  some  of  said  white  men  to  warrant  arrest,  and  we  recommend  such  action 
be  taken. 

pSToTE. — ^No  arrests  of  men  in  the  white  mob  were  made.] 

The  testimony  further  showed  that  there  were  150  white  men  in  the  mob 
grouped  in  front  of  102 1,  and  four  of  the  men  were  stoning  the  house  at  the 
time  Emma  Jackson  fired  into  their  midst. 

Only  one  gun  was  found  and  no  stores  of  ammunition,  instead  of  "a 
formidable  arsenal,"  or  a  "barricade"  or  "an  arsenal  for  Negro  rioters,"  or 
"  two  revolvers,  two  rifles,  an  axe,  several  knives,  and  several  hundred  rounds 
of  ammunition,  including  38  and  48  [sic]  calibre  cartridges  ....  piled  up 
near  the  window  from  which  the  Negroes  had  been  shooting."  The  one  gun 
was  hidden  in  a  niche  in  the  skylight. 

Following  are  examples  of  rumors  current  during  the  riot  and  disseminated 
by  the  press  and  by  word  of  mouth,  grouped  on  the  basis  of  the  emotions 
which  they  aroused — ^vengeful  animosity,  fear,  anger,  and  horror: 

Daily  News,  July  30.  Subheadline:  "Alderman  Jos.  McDonough  Tells 
How  He  Was  Shot  at  on  South  Side  Visit.  Says  Enough  Ammunition  in 
Section  to  Last  for  Years  of  Guerrilla  Warfare": 

[Note. — The  reference  in  the  headline  to  the  large  amount  of  ammunition 
is  repeated  in  the  text,  but  not  elaborated  or  explained.] 

An  alderman  in  an  account  of  his  adventures  says  the  Mayor  contemplates  open- 
ing up  3Sth  and  47th  streets  in  order  that  colored  people  might  get  to  their  work.  He 
thinks  this  would  be  most  unwise  for,  he  states,  "They  are  armed  and  the  white 
people  are  not.  We  must  defend  ourselves  if  the  city  authorities  won't  protect  us." 
Continuing  his  story,  he  describes  bombs  going  off,  "I  saw  white  men  and  women 
running  through  the  streets  dragging  children  by  the  hands  and  carrying  babies  in 
their  arms.  Frightened  white  men  told  me  the  police  captains  had  just  rushed 
through  the  district  crying,  'For  God's  sake,  arm.  They  are  coming,  we  cannot 
hold  them.'" 

The  point  here  is  not  whether  the  alderman  was  correctly  quoted,  but  the 
effect  on  the  public  of  such  statements  attributed  to  him.  There  is  no  record 
in  any  of  the  riot  testimony  in  the  coroner's  office  or  in  the  state's  attorney's 
office  of  any  bombs  exploded  during  the  riot,  nor  of  police  captains  warning 
white  people  to  arm,  nor  of  any  fear  on  the  part  of  whites  of  a  Negro  invasion. 
In  the  Berger  Odman  case  before  the  coroner's  jury  there  is  a  statement  that 



a  police  sergeant  warned  the  Negroes  of  Ogden  Park  to  arm  and  to  shoot  at 

the  feet  of  rioters  if  they  attempted  to  invade  the  few  blocks  marked  off  for 

Negroes  by  the  police. 

Herald-Examiner,  July  28.    SubheadHne:  "Negroes  Have  Arms": 

A  man  whose  name  is  withheld  reported  to  the  Herald-Examiner  that  Negroes 

had  more  than  2,000  Springfield  rifles  and  an  adequate  supply  of  soft-nosed  bullets. 

R.  R.  Jackson,  alderman  from  the  second  ward,  brands  the  story  as  untrue. 

This  statement  is  not  substantiated. 

Herald-Examiner,  July  29: 

Several  thousand  men  stoned  the  old  Eighth  Regunent  Armory  in  the  heart  of 
the  riot  zone,  doors  were  burst  in,  and  hundreds  of  guns  with  ammunition  taken  by 
the  mob.  Pohce  rushed  to  the  scene  firing  into  the  mob  and  finally  drove  it  from  the 
armory.    According  to  reports  more  than  50  persons  were  shot  or  otherwise  injured. 

Refutation  of  this  statement  is  found  in  the  testimony  of  Police  Captain 
MuUen  before  the  coroner's  jury  in  the  Eugene  Williams  case: 

I  received  a  rumor  that  the  soldiers  [referring  to  Negro  soldiers  of  the  Eighth 
Regiment]  had  gone  over  to  the  armory  for  the  sole  purpose  of  breaking  in  and  getting 
rifles.  I  dispatched  two  patrol  wagons  fuU  of  men;  after  arriving  there,  we  found 
out  they  had  been  there  and  broke  some  windows,  but  they  found  out  there  were 
no  weapons  in  there. 

Another  type  of  fear-provoking  rumor  current  in  street  crowds  reported  the 
force  and  the  aggressive  plans  of  the  opposing  race.  Some  of  these  rumors,  cur- 
rent among  Negro  crowds,  were  to  the  effect  that  a  white  mob  was  gathering  on 
Wentworth  Avenue  ready  to  break  into  the  "Black  Belt";  that  a  white  mob 
was  waiting  to  break  through  at  Sixtieth  and  Ada  streets;  that  a  white  mob 
was  ready  to  advance  upon  Twenty-seventh  and  Dearborn  streets.  The  first 
of  these  rumors  had  its  effect  upon  the  inception  of  the  Angelus  riot,  and  the 
second  so  aroused  the  fears  of  Negroes  that  when  a  white  mob  led  by  young 
white  boys  did  step  over  the  "dead-line"  boundaries  estabUshed  by  the  poHce, 
guns  were  immediately  turned  upon  them,  and  one  of  the  invaders  was  killed. 
Of  the  third  rumor,  Police  Lieutenant  Burns  said: 

....  an  old  colored  man  came  to  me  ...  .  and  said  that  the  colored  people  on 
Dearborn  Street  in  the  2800  block  were  moving  out  in  fear  of  a  white  mob  coming 

from  across  the  tracks  from  across  Wentworth  Avenue On  the  southwest 

comer  of  Twenty-eighth  and  Dearborn  I  found  a  number  of  colored  men  standing  in 
front  of  a  building  there.  They  had  pieces  of  brick  and  stone  in  their  pockets  and 
were  peering  around  the  comer  west  on  Twenty-eighth  Street  apparently  in  great  fear. 

Among  the  whites  fear  was  not  so  prevalent.  A  fear-producing  rumor 
was  revealed,  however,  in  the  examination  of  two  deputy  sheriffs  who  fired 
on  a  Negro.  The  deputies  had  heard  that  Negroes  were  going  to  burn  up 
or  blow  up  factories  in  the  district  which  they  were  patrolling.  When  a  dark 
form  was  seen  in  an  alley,  panic  seized  both  deputies,  and  they  emptied  their 
revolvers  at  an  innocent  Negro  who  Uved  in  the  adjoining  house. 


Chief  among  the  anger-provoking  rumors  were  tales  of  injury  done  to 
women  of  the  race  circulating  the  rumor.  The  similarity  of  the  stories  and 
their  persistence  shows  extraordinary  creduUty  on  the  part  of  the  public.  For 
the  most  horrible  of  these  rumors,  telling  of  the  brutal  kilhng  of  a  woman  and 
baby  (sometimes  the  story  is  told  of  a  Negro  woman,  sometimes  of  a  white) 
there  was  no  foundation  in  fact.  The  story  was  circulated  not  only  by  the 
newspapers  of  both  races,  but  was  current  always  in  the  crowds  on  the  streets. 
Here  is  the  story  as  told  in  the  white  press: 

Chicago  Tribune,  July  29: 

There  is  an  account  of  "two  desperate  revolver  battles  fought  by  the  police  with 
colored  men  alleged  to  have  killed  two  white  women  and  a  white  child." 

It  is  reported  that  policemen  saw  two  Negroes  knock  down  a  woman  and  child 
and  kick  them.    The  Negroes  ran  before  the  police  could  reach  them. 

Herald-Examiner,  July  29: 

Two  white  women,  one  of  them  with  a  baby  in  her  arms,  were  attacked  and 
wounded  by  Negro  mobs  firing  on  street  cars 

A  colored  woman  with  a  baby  in  her  arms  was  reported  at  the  Deering  Police 
Station,  according  to  this  item,  to  have  been  attacked  by  a  mob  of  more  than  100  white 
men.  When  the  mob  finally  fled  before  the  approach  of  a  squad  of  poUce  both  the 
woman  and  child  were  lying  in  the  street  beaten  to  death,  "it  is  said." 

Daily  News,  July  29: 

Another  man  is  held  at  the  Stock  Yards  station  charged  with  the  murder  of  a 
white  woman  in  West  47th  Street  and  Wentworth 

The  Negroes,  foiir  in  number,  were  arrested  at  East  39th  and  Cottage  Grove 
Avenue,  this  afternoon  by  the  detective.  They  are  beheved  to  be  the  ones  who 
seriously  wounded  Mrs.  Margaret  Kelley,  white  woman,  at  W.  47th  and  Wentworth. 
She  was  shot  ia  the  back  and  may  die.  The  names  of  those  under  arrest  were  not 
given  out. 

[Note. — "Murder"  changed  to  "seriously  injured"  in  the  main  story.  Mrs. 
Mary  Kelly  was  shot  in  the  arm  according  to  the  police  report  and  not  in  the  back.] 

The  men  arrested  for  the  shooting  were  Henry  Harris  and  Scott  Brown, 
deputy  sherifEs,  and  four  others  according  to  the  records  of  the  state's  attorney. 
Sheriff  Peters  says  of  the  case,  that  Harris  was  charged  with  shooting  someone, 
but  when  the  case  came  up  the  charge  was  dropped.  Sheriff  Peters  was  con- 
vinced that  Harris  was  innocent. 

Daily  News,  July  29.  Headline,  given  place  of  first  importance  in  the 
pink  section:  "Women  Shot  as  Riots  Grow."  Columns  7  and  8  of  first-page 
white  section  are  headed,  "Attack  White  Women  as  Race  Riots  Grow.  Death 
Roster  Is  30." 

The  item  reads:  "Race  rioters  began  to  attack  white  women  this  afternoon 
according  to  report  received  at  the  Detective  Bureau  and  the  Stock  Yards 
Police  Station."  The  article  continues,  that  Swift  &  Company  had  not 
received  any  such  reports  of  attacks  on  their  women  employees.    But  farther 


on  the  item  gives  an  account  of  a  Swift  &  Company  truck  filled  with  girl 
employees  fired  upon  by  Negroes  at  Forty-seventh  Street  and  the  Panhandle 
railroad.    The  driver  was  reported  killed  and  several  of  the  girls  injured. 

The  juxtaposition  of  "Death  roster  is  30"  and  "Attack  white  women" 
gives  a  wrong  impression.  The  "several  girls  injxured"  at  Forty-seventh 
Street  evidently  refers  to  the  case  of  Mrs.  Mary  Kelly.  The  records  of  the 
state's  attorney's  office  also  show  that  Josephine  Mansfield  was  supposed  to 
have  been  wounded  by  Harris,  et  ah,  but  the  charge  was  dropped.  She  was 
wounded  in  the  shoulder,  according  to  the  police  report. 

Daily  News,  July  30 : 

Alderman  McDonough  described  a  raid  into  the  white  district  the  night  before 
by  a  carload  of  colored  men  who  passed  Thirty-fifth  Street  and  Wallace  "shouting 
and  shooting."    The  gunmen  shot  down  a  woman  and  a  little  boy  who  stood  close  by. 

[Note. — No  record  of  such  a  case.] 

Here  is  the  "injury  done  to  women "  story  as  it  appeared  in  the  Negro  press : 

Chicago  Defender,  August  2 : 

An  unidentified  young  woman  and  three-months-old  baby  were  found  dead  on 
the  street  at  the  intersection  of  Forty-seventh  and  Wentworth.  She  had  attempted 
to  board  a  car  there  when  the  mob  seized  her,  beat  her,  slashed  her  body  to  ribbons, 
and  beat  the  baby 's  brains  out  against  a  telegraph  pole.  Not  satisfied  with  this  one 
rioter  severed  her  breasts  and  a  white  youngster  bore  it  aloft  on  a  pole  triumphantly 
while  the  crowd  hooted  gleefully.  The  whole  time  this  was  happening  several  police- 
men were  in  the  crowd  but  did  not  make  any  attempt  to  make  a  rescue  until  too  late. 

Concerning  all  of  these  stories  it  may  be  stated  that  the  coroner  had  no 
cases  of  deaths  of  women  and  children  brought  before  him.  There  was  nothing 
in  the  pohce  reports  or  the  files  of  the  state's  attorney  or  hospital  reports  or 
the  reports  of  Ohvet  Baptist  Church,  which  would  give  any  foundation  for 
reports  of  the  kilHng  of  a  woman  and  child,  white  or  Negro. 

There  were  other  rumors  which  had  the  same  anger-producing  effect  as 
reports  of  attacks  on  women.  A  notable  case  of  this  kind  was  the  fatal  clash 
at  the  Angelus,  an  apartment  house  for  white  people  at  Thirty-fifth  Street 
and  Wabash  Avenue,  on  Monday,  July  28  (see  p.  6).  The  trouble  here 
grew  from  four  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  until  it  culminated  in  the  shooting 
at  8:00  P.M.  The  excitement  was,  stimulated  by  the  rapid  spread  of  various 
rumors.  It  was  said  that  a  white  mob  was  gathering  at  Thirty-fifth  Street 
and  Wentworth  Avenue,  only  a  few  blocks  from  the  colored  mob  which  was 
massed  on  Thirty-fifth  Street  from  State  Street  to  Wabash  Avenue.  The 
rumor  was  that  the  white  men  are  armed  and  prepared  to  "clean  up  the 
'Black  Belt.'"  Another  rumor  had  it  that  a  Negro's  sister  had  been  killed 
while  coming  home  from  the  Stock  Yards  where  she  worked.  Finally  came 
the  rumor  that  a  white  person  had  fired  a  shot  from  the  Angelus  building, 
wounding  a  colored  boy.  The  rumor  quickly  went  through  the  crowd  swarming 
around  the  building,  but  no  one  heard  or  saw  the  shooting.    A  search  of  the 


building  disclosed  no  firearms.  Police  Sergeant  Middleton,  Negro,  described 
the  situation  as  "everybody  tr)mig  to  teU  you  something  and  you  couldn't 
get  anything."  Another  Negro  policeman  said  it  was  "just  a  rumor  that 
went  around  through  the  crowd  and  everybody  was  saying,  'He  shot  from 
that  window';  I  would  go  to  that  window  and  the  crowd  would  say,  'That  is 
the  window  over  there.' " 

The  anger-provoking  power  of  rumor  was  seen  in  the  ensuing  clash.  About 
1,500  Negroes  massed  on  one  corner  of  Thirty-fifth  Street  and  Wabash  Avenue, 
and  about  100  policemen  grouped  themselves  at  the  intersection  of  the  two 
streets.  At  the  sight  of  a  brick  flying  from  the  Negro  mob  the  police  fired  a 
volley  into  the  midst  of  the  mob.  More  shots  came  quickly  from  both  sides. 
Four  Negroes  were  kiUed,  and  many  were  injured,  among  both  the  Negroes 
and  the  police. 

The  Angelus  rumor  appeared  as  follows  in  a  Negro  newspaper,  the  Chicago 
Defender,  August  2:  "White  occupants  of  the  Angelus  apartments  began 
firing  shots  and  throwing  missiles  from  their  windows.  One  man  was  shot 
through  the  head  but  before  his  name  could  be  secured  he  was  spirited  away." 

In  the  case  of  Joseph  Lovings,  a  Negro  killed  by  an  ItaUan  mob,  press 
reports  that  were  entirely  false  tended  strongly  to  provoke  the  anger  of  Negro 
mobs.    For  example: 

Herald-Examiner,  July  30:  "He  had  been  shot,  stabbed  and  gasoline  had 
been  thrown  on  his  body  which  had  been  set  afire.  The  poUce  extinguished 
the  fire  and  took  the  body  to  the  County  Morgue." 

Tribune,  July  30:  "This  report  says  that  he  was  stabbed  and  shot  sixteen 
times,  then  his  body  satiurated  with  gasoline  and  set  afire." 

The  coroner's  jury  in  commenting  on  this  rumor  said:  "It  gives  us  satis- 
faction to  say  that  this  rumor,  from  our  investigation,  is  false  and  unsub- 

Among  the  horror  rumors  one  finds  such  examples  as  the  story  of  the  white 
man  who  stood  at  the  entrance  to  Exchange  Avenue  and  knocked  down  half 
a  dozen  Negroes  as  they  came  by.  This  was  current  in  the  Stock  Yards  and 
was  told  by  one  of  the  workers  at  the  inquest  on  the  body  of  William  Dozier, 
Negro,  killed  in  the  Yards.  Another  rimior  had  it  that  a  Negro  woman 
nicknamed  "Heavy"  had  partly  slashed  off  the  head  of  a  white  man.  This 
was  picked  up  by  a  detective  circulating  among  white  people  Hving  in  the 
"Black  Belt." 

But  chief  among  horror  rumors  was  the  Bubbly  Creek  rumor,  which  took 
this  form  in  the  press: 

Daily  News,  July  29.  Subheadline:  "Four  Bodies  in  Bubbly  Creek." 
The  article  does  not  give  details  but  says,  "Bodies  of  four  colored  men  were 
taken  today  from  Bubbly  Creek  in  the  Stock  Yards  district,  it  is  reported." 

This  was  one  of  the  most  persistent  rumors  of  the  riot,  and  inteUigent  men 
were  found  repeating  it  in  half-credulous  tones.    A  meat  curer,  talking  in  the 


superintendent's  office  of  Swift  &  Company,  said:  "Well,  I  hear  they  did 

drag  two  or  three  out  of  Bubbly  Creek Dead  bodies,  that  is  the  report 

that  came  to  the  Yards,  but  personally  I  never  got  any  positive  evidence  that 
there  was  any  people  who  was  found  there." 

A  juror  on  the  coroner's  panel  said:  "A  man  told  a  friend  of  mine — 'I  can 
furnish  the  name  of  that  man — a  man  told  him  that  he  saw  fifty-six  bodies 
taken  out  of  Bubbly  Creek.  They  made  a  statement  they  used  a  net  and  seine 
to  drag  them  out." 

Mr.  WiUiams,  Negro  attorney,  said  he  was  told  that  the  bodies  of  100 
Negroes  had  been  found  in  Bubbly  Creek. 

In  its  final  report,  the  coroner's  jury  made  this  conclusive  statement 
regarding  the  Bubbly  Creek  nunor: 

Bubbly  Creek  has  been  the  favorite  cemetery  for  the  undiscovered  dead,  and  our 
inquiry  has  been  partly  directed  to  that  stream.  In  our  inquiry  we  have  been  assisted 
by  the  Stock  Yards  officials  and  workers,  by  adjacent  property  owners  and  residents, 
by  private  detective  bureaus,  the  Police  Department,  Department  of  Health,  State's 
Attorney's  office,  by  observing  akid  intelligent  colored  citizens,  apd  by  other  agencies, 
and  we  are  firmly  of  the  opinion  that  these  reports,  so  widely  circulated,  are  erroneous, 
misleading,  and  without  foundation  in  fact,  the  race  riot  victims  numbering  thirty- 
eight,  and  no  more,  nor  are  there  any  colored  citizens  reported  to  us  as  missing. 

Rumor,  fermenting  in  mobs,  prepares  the  mob  mind  for  the  direct  suggestion 
impelling  otherwise  law-abiding  citizens  to  atrocities.  Another  more  insidious 
and  potentially  more  dangerous  result  is  the  slow  accumulation  of  f  eeUng  which 
builds  between  the  white  and  Negro  the  strongest  barrier  of  race  prejudice. 

Police. — ^There  has  been  much  criticism  of  the  maimer  in  which  the  riot 
was  handled  by  the  authorities,  but  it  may  be  pointed  out  that  the  riot  was 
not  quelled  until  at  least  four  groups  of  peace  guardians  had  taken  part  in 
handhng  it.  The  two  most  important  groups  were  the  police  and  the  mOitia; 
the  others  were  composed  of  deputy  sheriffs  and  Negro  ex-soldiers. 

Testimony  before  the  coroner's  jury  and  in  hearings  before  this  Commission 
throws  considerable  light  on  the  actions  of  the  Pohce  Department  as  a  whole 
during  the  riot,  its  methods  in  meeting  the  unusual  situation,  and  on  the 
conduct  of  individual  poHcemen.  First-hand  information  and  opinion  was 
obtained  from  Chief  of  Pohce  Garrity  and  State's  Attorney  Hoyne. 

The  poUce  had  two  severe  handicaps  at  the  outset  of  the  rioting.  The  first, 
as  declared  by  Chief  Garrity,  was  lack  of  sufficient  nxmibers  adequately  to 
cope  with  the  situation.  The  coroner's  jury  found  that  "the  police  force 
should  be  enlarged.  It  is  too  small  to  cope  with  the  needs  of  Chicago."  The 
grand  jury  added:  "The  pohce  force  is  also  inadequate  in  numbers,  and 
at  least  one  thousand  (1,000)  officers  should  be  added  to  the  existing  force." 
This  number  approxunates  the  need  urged  by  Chief  Garrity,  who,  when 
asked  before  the  Commission  as  to  the  sufficiency  of  his  force,  answered: 
"No.    I  haven't  sufficient  force.    I  haven't  got  a  sufficient  force  now  to 


properly  police  the  city  of  Chicago  by  one-third."  MiHtia  officers  and  other 
poUce  officials  held  the  same  general  opinion. 

The  second  handicap,  distrust  of  white  policemen  by  all  Negroes,  while 
impUed  and  not  admitted  by  Chief  Garrity,  was  frankly  explained  by  State's 
Attorney  Hoyne.  He  said  before  the  Commission:  "There  is  no  doubt  that  a 
great  many  police  officers  were  grossly  unfair  in  making  arrests.  They  shut 
their  eyes  to  offenses  committed  by  white  men  while  they  were  very  vigorous 
in  getting  all  the  colored  men  they  could  get." 

Leaders  among  the  Negroes  clearly  indicate  that  discrimination  in  arrest 
was  a  principal  cause  of  widespread  and  long-standing  distrust.  Whether 
justified  or  not,  this  feehng  was  actual  and  bitter.  This  distrust  had  grown 
seriously  during  the  six  months  preceding  the  riot  because  no  arrests  were 
made  in  bombing  cases.  State's  Attorney  Hoyne  said  before  the  commission: 
"I  don't  know  of  a  single  case  where  the  police  have  apprehended  any 
man  who  has  blown  up  a  house." 

Charles  S.  Duke,  a  well-educated  and  fair-minded  Negro,  gave  his  reaction 
to  the  bombings  when  he  said  that  he  did  not  "believe  a  Negro  would  have 
been  allowed  to  go  unpunished  five  minutes."  Mrs.  Clarke,  Negro,  said  her 
house  was  bombed  three  times,  once  while  a  plain-clothes  poUceman  was  inside 
waiting  for  bombers,  but  no  arrests  were  made.  One  suspect  was  put  under 
surveillance  but  was  not  held. 

The  trial  of  the  three  Negro  policemen  before  the  Merit  Committee  of 
the  Police  Department  because  they  refused  to  use  the  "Jim  Crow"  sleeping- 
quarters  in  a  police  station  doubtless  added  to  race  feehng,  particularly  in 
view  of  the  publicity  it  received  in  the  "Black  Belt." 

Negro  distrust  of  the  pohce  increased  among  the  Negroes  during  the 
period  of  the  riot.  With  each  clash  a  new  cause  for  suspicion  seemed  to 
spring  up.  The  most  striking  instance  occurred  on  the  first  afternoon  when 
Policeman  Callahan  refused  to  arrest  the  white  man  whom  the  Negro  crowd 
accused  of  causing  the  drowning  of  Williams,  the  Negro  boy.  This  refusal 
has  been  called  the  beginning  of  the'riot  because  it  led  to  mob  violence  of  grave 
consequences.  However  that  may  have  been,  the  fact  remains  that  this 
refusal  was  heralded  broadcast  by  the  Negroes  as  the  kind  of  action  they 
might  expect  from  the  police. 

Typical  of  the  minor  tales  which  laid  the  foundation  for  the  Negroes' 
bitterness  toward  this  white  policeman  are  the  following: 

1.  Kin  Lumpkin,  Negro,  was  beaten  by  a  mob  on  the  "L"  platform  at 
Forty-seventh  Street,  as  he  was  going  home  from  work.  The  poUceman 
arrested  Lumpkin  and  had  him  booked  for  rioting.  No  other  arrests  were 
made.    Lumpkin  was  held  from  July  28  to  August  i. 

2.  Two  pohcemen,  one  of  them  Officer  McCarty  of  the  Twenty-sixth 
Precinct,  witnessed  the  beating  of  Wellington  Dunmore,  Negro,  of  4120 
South  Campbell  Avenue,  but,  according  to  the  victim,  refused  to  assist  him. 






3.  John  Slovall  and  brother,  Negroes,  were  beaten  and  robbed  by  whites 
in  sight  of  a  white  poUceman.  No  arrests  were  made.  The  officer  did  not 
even  call  for  aid. 

4.  While  looking  for  his  mother  at  Thirty-first  and  State  streets  on  Tuesday, 
July  29,  Wm.  F.  Thornton,  Negro,  3207  South  Park  Avenue,  asked  a  policeman 
to  take  him  home.  The  officer  took  him  to  the  police  station  and  locked  him 
up.  Another  Negro  applied  for  protection,  but  the  police  searched  him, 
clubbed  him,  and  when  he  ran,  the  sergeant  told  another  poUceman  to  shoot 
him.  The  poUceman  obeyed  and  the  man  f  eU  under  the  "  L  "  station.  He  was 
picked  up  by  the  same  patrol  wagon  that  took  Thornton  to  the  Cottage 
Grove  PoUce  Station.    The  officer,  Bundy,  arrested  Thornton. 

A  report  on  229  Negroes  and  whites  accused  of  various  criminal  activities 
disclosed  the  fact  that  154  were  Negroes  and  seventy-five  were  whites.  The 
state's  attorney  reported  eighty-one  indictments  against  Negroes  and  forty- 
seven  against  whites  after  all  riot  cases  were  cleared  up.  These  figures  show 
that  twice  as  many  Negroes  appeared  as  defendants  and  twice  as  many  were 
indicted  as  whites. 

At  first  glance  these  figures  indicate  greater  riot  activity  on  the  part  of 
Negroes,  and  therefore  one  would  expect  to  find  twice  as  many  whites  injured 
as  Negroes.  But  out  of  a  total  of  520  injured  persons  whose  race  was  definitely 
reported,  342  were  Negroes  and  178  whites.  The  fact  that  twice  as  many 
Negroes  appeared  as  defendants  and  twice  as  many  were  injured  as  whites  sug- 
gests the  conclusion  that  whites  were  not  apprehended  as  readily  as  Negroes. 

Herman  M.  Adler,  state  criminologist  of  IlUnois,  testif3dng  before  the 
Commission,  expressed  the  belief  that  the  poUce  showed  much  more  readiness 
to  arrest  Negroes  than  whites  because  the  officers  thought  they  were  "taking 
fewer  chances  if  they  'soaked'  a  colored  man." 

Negro  distrust  of  poUce  and  courts  seems  to  have  been  confirmed  by 
the  action  of  the  state's  attorney's  office  in  bringing  only  Negro  riot  cases 
before  the  grand  jury.  This  body,  however,  took  a  stand  for  fair  play  and 
justice  for  both  sides,  and  though  its  action  may  have  been  novel,  it  was  efiect- 
ive.     In  its  final  report,  the  grand  jury  said: 

This  jury  has  no  apology  to  offer  for  its  attitude  with  reference  to  requesting  the 
state 's  attorney  to  supply  it  with  information  of  crimes  perpetrated  by  whites  against 
blacks  before  considering  further  evidence  against  blacks.  This  attitude  gave  rise 
to  the  reports  in  the  press  that  this  grand  jury  "had  gone  on  a  strike."  As  a  matter 
of  fact,  its  position  was  merely  a  suspension  of  hearing  further  cases  of  crimes  com- 
mitted by  blacks  against  whites  until  the  state's  attorney  submitted  evidence  con- 
cerning the  various  crimes  committed  by  whites  against  blacks.  The  reason  for  this 
attitude  arose  from  a  sense  of  justice  on  the  part  of  this  jury.  It  is  the  opinion  of 
this  jury  that  the  colored  people  suffered  more  at  the  hands  of  the  white  hoodlums 
than  the  white  people  suffered  at  the  hands  of  the  black  hoodlums.  Notwithstandiug 
this  fact,  the  cases  presented  to  this  jury  against  the  blacks  far  outnumber  those 
against  the  whites. 


State's  Attorney  Hoyne  justified  this  action  by  saying  that  the  Police 
Department  brought  in  Negroes  only,  and  until  they  arrested  whites,  he  was 
Umited  to  proceedings  against  Negroes. 

The  coroner's  jury  on  November  3,  1919,  reported  as  follows: 
Our  attention  was  called  strikingly  to  the  fact  that  at  the  time  of  race  rioting, 
the  arrests  made  for  rioting  by  the  police  of  colored  rioters  were  far  in  excess  of  the 
arrests  made  of  white  rioters.  The  failure  of  the  pohce  to  arrest  unpartially,  at  the 
time  of  rioting,  whether  from  insufficient  effort  or  otherwise,  was  a  mistake  and  had 
a  tendency  to  further  uicite  and  aggravate  the  colored  population. 

This  seeming  discrimination  in  arrests  naturally  deepened  Negro  distrust 
and  lack  of  confidence  in  the  police.  Testimony  was  taken  by  the  Commission 
on  the  plans  and  action  of  the  Pohce  Department  during  the  riot  period, 
since  the  Commission  felt  that  the  distribution  of  forces  and  the  methods 
used  by  the  department  to  meet  such  an  emergency  were  matters  of  first 

Chief  of  Pohce  Garrity  testified  that  there  were  3,500  poUcemen  m  the 
department  at  the  tune  of  the  riot,  and  that  he  had  "  practically  every  poUceman 
in  the  city  of  Chicago  down  there,"  indicating  Thurty-fifth  Street  and  Rhodes 
Avenue  as  "practically  in  the  heart  of  the  district  where  the  most  trouble  was." 
The  widest  distribution  from  that  center,  he  said,  was  over  an  area  bounded 
by  Lake  Michigan,  Ashland  Avenue,  Van  Buren  Street,  and  Sixty-ninth  Street. 

The  heaviest  concentration  of  pohce,  however,  was  in  the  "Black  Belt." 
The  Stanton  Avenue  Pohce  Station  at  Thirty-fifth  Street  and  Rhodes  Avenue 
is  at  about  the  center  of  the  most  congested  Negro  residential  area.  Asked 
how  many  pohcemen  were  assigned  to  that  vicinity  (the  area  from  Twenty- 
second  to  Thirty-ninth  streets),  Chief  Garrity  said,  "We  had  in  the  neighbor- 
hood of  2,800  men  in  that  territory."  Later  the  chief  said  only  "  the  necessary 
sergeants  and  one  or  two  men  at  each  station  were  held  back  for  emergency 
calls"  in  all  other  parts  of  the  city.  This  means  that  four-fiifths  of  the  total 
pohce  force  was  concentrated  there. 

Although  there  is  no  direct  testimony  as  to  the  existence  of  flying  squadrons 
of  pohce,  yet  such  bodies  appear  to  have  been  operating.  Probably  the  most 
important  of  these  was  the  patrol  under  PoUce  Captain  Mullen,  who  said 
that  his  territory  extended  from  Twenty-second  to  Thirty-ninth  streets  and 
from  the  lake  to  the  Rock  Island  tracks,  or  roughly  the  "Black  Belt."  Chief 
Deputy  Alcock'  sent  eighty-eight  pohcemen  into  this  district  on  Sunday 
afternoon,  twenty-five  more  at  midnight,  and  fifty  more  on  Monday  morning. 

In  describing  the  disposition  of  pohce  details.  Chief  Garrity  said:  "They 
were  routed  by  him  [Alcock]  according  to  conditions  existing  in  different  dis- 
tricts. Some  districts  might  have  a  hundred  men  in  the  block  and  in  the 
next  block  there  might  be  only  ten,  according  to  what  conditions  were." 

'  Chief  of  Police  Garrity  was  out  of  the  city  at  the  time  the  riot  began  on  Sunday,  but 
returned  on  Monday. 


Forces  were  moved  from  one  point  of  disturbance  to  another  by  means  of 
patrol  wagons  on  request  of  local  commanders. 

The  2,800  policemen  in  the  "Black  Belt"  were  under  the  command  of 
Chief  Deputy  Alcock  with  headquarters  in  the  Stanton  Avenue  Station.  He 
"used  his  discretion  in  the  number  of  men  assigned  to  the  different  points 
and  the  handling  of  them  in  the  different  territories." 

Riot  orders  were  given  by  Chief  Garrity  as  follows:  "Wherever  possible 
suppress  the  riot  and  restore  peace";  "the  second  day  I  ordered  a  dead  line 
on  Wentworth  Avenue  and  Twenty-second  Street  to,  I  think.  Sixty-third 
Street";  "instructions  were  that  'you  will  allow  no  colored  people  to  go  across 
to  the  west  and  no  white  people  to  go  across  to  the  east.' "  Cabarets,  saloons, 
and  public  places  were  ordered  closed,  and  all  large  gatherings  of  either  whites 
or  Negroes  were  prohibited  from  Van  Buren  to  Sixty-ninth  streets  and  from 
Ashland  Avenue  to  the  lake.  The  chief  added,  "Closing  clubrooms  and 
everything  in  the  district  west  of  Wentworth  Avenue  as  well  as  east  of  it." 
A  general  poUcy  was  adopted  of  search  and  seizure  of  persons  suspected  of 
carrying  weapons  on  the  street,  and  of  houses  from  which  firing  came.  Captain 
Mullen  testified  before  the  coroner's  jury  at  the  Eugene  Williams  inquest 
that  on  July  29  Chief  Deputy  Alcock  hned  up  the  poHcemen  in  front  of  the 
Stanton  Avenue  Station  and  gave  them  their  orders.  They  were  told  to 
"preserve  the  peace;  that  was  all." 

PoUce  records  of  clashes  were  incomplete  and  often  inaccurate.  This 
was  in  part  due,  and  naturally  so,  to  the  stress  of  the  moment.  In  many 
cases  the  station  lists  of  injured  were  far  from  complete  and  in  few  instances 
were  the  names  of  witnesses  given.  Even  the  dates  and  hours  of  clashes  were 
loosely  recorded.  Persons  arrested  were  frequently  not  booked  at  all,  while 
on  the  other  hand  it  was  not  uncommon  to  find  innocent  persons  charged 
with  serious  offenses.  Henry  Scholz,  policeman  of  the  Twenty-sixth  Precinct, 
threw  much  light  on  police  records  while  being  examined  in  connection  with 
certain  automobile  arrests: 

They  were  all  discharged,  booked  for  "disorderly,"  because  we  couldn't  find 
the  guns  in  the  mix-up.  It  was  the  first  or  second  day  down  there  and  they  were 
bringing  them  in  right  and  left,  and  I  suppose  in  the  mLx-up  they  mislaid  the  guns, 
or  put  them  away  somewhere,  or  booked  them  to  someone  else.  We  held  them 
about  a  week  trying  to  find  the  guns  and  trying  to  find  the  officers  that  got  the  guns. 

It  is  important  to  know  how  the  distribution  and  routing  of  police  affected 
the  general  riot  situation.  As  already  shown  fomr-fiiths  of  the  poUce  forces 
were  concentrated  in  the  "Black  Belt."  This  undoubtedly  both  weakened 
poUce  forces  elsewhere  and  also  prevented  or  delayed  reinforcements  in  outside 
districts.  Only  34  per  cent  of  the  total  number  of  reported  injuries  occurred 
in  the  area  of  concentration.  Negro  hatred  of  the  poUce  is  worth  mentioning 
again  here,  especially  since  many  of  the  deaths  and  injuries  occurred  during 
clashes  between  white  policemen  and  Negro  mobs. 


That  other  districts  where  danger  existed  were  poorly  protected  is  shown 
by  the  fact  that  fatal  clashes  occurred  there  without  interruption  by  the 
poUce.  The  most  conspicuous  case  is  noted  in  the  "Loop"  atrocities  on  July 
29,  where  two  Negroes,  Hardwick  and  Williams,  were  kiUed,  several  were 
injured  and  robbed,  and  business  property  of  whites  was  damaged.  A  police 
sergeant  said  that  only  three  officers  and  one  sergeant  were  in  the  district 
on  the  night  of  July  28-29.  In  t^ie  Stock  Yards  district,  where  41  per  cent 
of  the  injuries  and  several  deaths  occurred,  there  is  no  record  of  an  attempt  by 
the  poHce  to  increase  the  riot  forces.  In  this  district  gang  raids  by  whites 
were  practically  beyond  control.  On  July  28  B.  F.  Hardy,  a  Negro,  was 
killed  at  Forty-sixth  Street  and  Cottage  Grove  Avenue.  Sergeant  Clancy 
later  testified  that  there  were  no  poHcemen  in  this  district  until  after  the 
trouble.  The  foreman  of  the  grand  jury  investigated  the  activities  of  the 
Deering  Street  Station  under  PoHce  Captain  Gallery.  He  says:  "They 
didn't  have  a  suflScient  number  of  poUcemen  to  handle  the  situation.  If  I 
remember  correctly,  he  had  eight  patrolmen  covering  a  district  of  any  number 
of  square  miles." 

In  spite  of  the  concentration  of  poUce  in  the  "Black  Belt"  some  parts  of 
that  area  seem  at  times  not  to  have  been  properly  guarded.  Several  serious 
clashes  occurred  there  after  the  police  arrived  in  force.  Theodore  Copling, 
Negro,  was  shot  to  death  at  Thirtieth  and  State  streets  in  the  heart  of  the 
"Black  Belt"  on  July  30.  This  had  been  a  riotous  corner  for  three  days, 
yet  no  pohcemen  were  at  hand.  The  nearest  was  a  detective  sergeant  on 
Twenty-ninth  Street  between  Federal  and  State  streets.  Samuel  Banks, 
Negro,  was  shot  and  killed  near  the  corner  of  Twenty-seventh  and  Dearborn 
streets  on  July  30  at  11 :  00  p.m.,  yet  Lieutenant  Burns,  in  charge  of  this  district, 
testified  at  the  inquest  that  twelve  to  fourteen  ofl&cers  were  at  Twenty-seventh 
and  Dearborn  streets  immediately  before  the  shooting. 

It  was  undoubtedly  the  relatively  large  nimiber  of  clashes  which  the 
poHce  were  unable  to  prevent  that  led  the  coroner's  jury  to  recommend  that 
"  (6)  there  should  be  organization  of  the  force  for  riot  work  for  the  purpose 
of  controlling  rioting  in  its  incipient  stages." 

The  conduct  of  individual  policemen  received  much  adverse  criticism  from 
the  Negroes.  This  was  to  be  expected  in  the  circumstances,  but  disregarding 
the  general  prejudice  of  which  white  oflScers  were  accused,  certain  cases  of 
discrimination,  abuse,  brutaUty,  indifierence,  and  neglect  on  the  part  of 
individuals  are  deserving  of  examination. 

Abusive  and  brutal  treatment  was  complained  of  by  Horace  Jennings, 
3422  South  Aberdeen  Street.  He  reported  to  the  state's  attorney's  office  that 
Policeman  G — ,  of  the  Grand  Crossing  Station,  approached  him,  as  he  lay 
wounded  by  a  mob  attack,  with  the  words,  "Where's  your  gun,  you  black 

of  a ?    You  damn  niggers  are  raising  hell";  that  the  officer  hit  him 

on  the  head,  and  he  did  not  regain  consciousness  until  some  time  later  in  the 


B  urnside  Hospital ;  and  he  further  charged  that  Gallagher  took  a  purse  contain- 
ing $13  when  he  searched  him. 

Three  Negroes  were  rescued  by  the  police  from  a  white  mob  of  twenty-five 
or  thirty  men.  Scott,  one  of  the  Negroes,  was  taken  from  the  street  car  on  which 
all  three  were  riding,  by  the  command  of  a  policeman  to  "  come  out  of  there, 
you  big  rusty  brute,  you.  I  ought  to  shoot  you,"  and  was  given  a  blow  on 
the  head.  According  to  a  witness  he  was  again  struck  by  the  policeman 
as  he  was  pushed  into  the  patrol  wagon.  He  was  subjected  to  rough  treatment 
at  the  jail  and  was  kept  incommxmicado  from  July  28  to  August  4,  not  being 
permitted  to  notify  his  wife  or  an  attorney.  None  of  the  twenty-five  or 
thirty  white  rioters  was  arrested.  There  was  some  evidence  of  fear  on  the 
part  of  the  poUce  to  arrest  rioting  whites. 

Fear  by  poUcemen  of  Negroes  is  also  disclosed.  George  Crumm,  white, 
124  East  Forty-sixth  Street,  informed  the  state's  attorney's  ofiB.ce  that  he 
was  beaten  by  a  Negro  mob,  got  poUce  assistance,  and  pointed  out  the  rioters, 
but  the  police  "didn't  seem  to  want  to  interfere  any." 

On  several  occasions  pohcemen  left  the  scene  of  riots  on  questionable 
excuses  while  the  rioting  was  in  progress.  Of  the  three  mounted  policemen 
at  Thirty-fifth  Street  and  Wabash  Avenue  who  rushed  to  the  spot  where  a 
mob  was  attacking  Otterson,  two  accompanied  the  automobile  of  Otterson 
to  the  hospital.  The  mob  was  not  quelled  or  dispersed.  When  the  house  of 
WilUam  O'Deneal,  Negro,  4742  Wells  Street,  was  attacked,  the  police  took 
O'Deneal  to  the  station  and  left  the  mob  to  sack  and  burn  his  house.  At  the 
kilUng  of  WilHam  Dozier,  Negro,  all  three  police  officers  who  responded  to 
notice  of  an  attack  by  a  white  mob  of  300  or  more,  left  in  the  same  patrol 
wagon.  The  names  of  witnesses  were  not  taken.  It  was  the  custom  for  all 
to  accompany  the  wagon,  according  to  Officer  McDonough. 

PoUtical  "pull"  exercised  with  the  police  on  behalf  of  rioters  has  been 
indicated.  It  was  noted  that  one  of  "Ragen's  Colts"  said  an  officer  of  the 
Stock  Yards  Station  "tipped  them  off"  to  stay  away  from  their  club  because 
Attorney  General  Brundage's  office  was  out  investigating  them. 

IndifiEerence  both  to  extreme  lawlessness  during  the  riot  and  to  the  procedure 
of  the  inquest  marked  the  examination  of  Captain  of  Police  MuUen  before  the 
coroner's  jury.  He  was  in  command  of  twelve  mounted  men  and  between 
sixty-three  and  100  men  on  foot  at  Thirty-fifth  Street  and  Wabash  Avenue 
when  a  clash  between  the  poUce  and  a  Negro  mob  occurred.  WhUe  it  appears 
to  be  the  fact  that  he  left  just  before  the  heavy  firing  to  telephone  from  a  saloon 
one  block  away,  yet  the  building  he  was  in  was  struck  by  bullets.  The  follow- 
ing excerpt  from  the  inquest  speaks  for  itself: 

Q.:  What  time  did  the  shooting  take  place  at  the  building  known  as  the 
Angelus  Building  ?  What  time  did  that  occur  ?  Was  there  any  shooting  at  that 
building  ? 

Mullen:  Not  that  I  heard. 


Q.:  Had  there  been  any  shooting  done  there  that  evening  around  ....  before 
you  left  ? 

Mullen:  Not  to  my  knowledge. 

Q.:  When  was  the  shooting  done,  and  where  were  you  ? 

Mullen:  What  do  you  mean  shooting  ? 

Three  men  were  killed  and  many  injured  at  Thirty-fifth  Street  and  Wabash 
Avenue  at  this  time.    Firing  broke  out  near-by  almost,  immediately. 

Q.:  There  were  some  shots  fired  at  Thirty-fifth  and  State,  Captain,  at  eight  that 
night,  right  after  the  volley  was  fired,  we  have  absolute  evidence. 

Mullen:  Wdl,  you  may  have,  but  I  have  not. 

Yet  Captain  MuUen  was  in  command  of  the  police  who  killed  two  more 
men  and  inflicted  other  woimds  when  the  Negroes  ran  before  the  police 

Militia. — The  rapid  growth  of  the  riot  both  in  violence  and  territorially 
created  such  alarm  among  the  authorities  and  the  public  that  the  question  of 
its  control  became  a  matter  of  paramount  concern  to  the  commxmity.  Before 
twenty-four  hours  had  elapsed  requests  were  made  to  the  local  authorities 
for  the  militia.  The  representations  were  based  on  insufficiency  of  police 
forces  and  were  strongly  urged  before  the  chief  of  police. 

Chief  Garrity  steadily  refused  to  ask  for  troops,  in  spite  of  his  repeated 
statement  that  the  police  force  was  insufficient.  He  gave  as  his  reason  the 
belief  that  inexperienced  militiamen  would  add  to  the  deaths  and  disorders. 
Mayor  Thompson  supported  the  chief's  refusal  until  outside  pressure  compelled 
him  to  ask  the  governor  for  aid.  On  the  other  band  the  chief  deputy  of  police 
was  quoted  by  State's  Attorney  Hoyne  as  having  said  at  the  outbreak  of  the 
riot  that  the  police  would  not  be  able  to  handle  the  situation,  and  that  troops 
were  needed.  In  this  he  was  supported  by  Mr.  Hoyne.  From  observation 
of  conditions  on  the  first  three  days  of  the  riot,  the  chief  of  staff  of  the  troops, 
Colonel  Ronayne,  concluded  that  the  police  were  insufficient  in  numbers, 
that  no  improvement  was  apparent  in  the  general  situation,  and  that  therefore 
the  troops  were  necessary.  He  saw  no  reason,  however,  for  putting  the  city 
under  martial  law.    Other  military  men  were  of  the  same  opinion. 

During  all  of  this  time  Governor  Lowden  kept  in  close  touch  with  the 
situation  from  his  quarters  at  the  Blackstone  Hotel.  When  the  riot  appeared 
to  be  subsiding  he  started  to  keep  an  appointment  out  of  town  but,  on  hearing 
that  there  was  a  renewal  of  violence,  returned  to  the  city  on  a  special  train. 
When  the  request  was  made  for  the  active  co-operation  of  the  troops  he  acted 
with  promptness. 

The  troops  themselves  were  clearly  of  high  caliber.  For  the  most  part 
they  were  in  home  service  during  the  war  and  were  older  men  than  are  ordina- 
rily found  in  militia  organizations.  They  "usually  came  from  the  higher 
type  of  business  men,  men  of  affairs,  men  that  knew  how  to  think,"  as  one  of 
their  commanding  officers  described  them.    They  were  all  American-born. 




The  militia  discipline  was  of  the  best.  Not  a  single  case  of  breach  of 
discipUne  was  reported  to  the  regimental  commanders.  No  guardhouse 
was  necessary  during  the  riot,  a  remarkable  commentary  on  troop  conduct. 

The  miUtia  had  been  given  special  drills  in  the  suppression  of  riots  and 
insurrections  for  a  year  and  a  half  previous  to  this  occasion,  and  were,  in  the 
estimation  of  their  commanding  ofHcer,  "probably  better  prepared  for  riot 
drill  than  any  troops  ever  put  on  duty  in  the  state." 

The  activities  of  the  militia  did  not  begin  as  early  as  many  citizens  wished. 
Though  troops  began  to  mobilize  in  the  armories  on  Monday  night,  July  28, 
they  were  not  called  to  actual  duty  on  the  streets  until  10:30  p.m.,  Wednesday, 
July  30.  When  called  to  active  duty  they  were  distributed  in  the  areas  of 
conflict.  Between  5,000  and  6,000  troops  were  called  out.  This  number  was 
made  up  entirely  of  white  troops  from  the  Ninth,  Tenth,  and  Eleventh  Infantry, 
IlUnois  National  Guard,  and  from  the  First,  Second,  Third,  and  Fourth 
Reserve  MiUtia  regiments  of  the  militia.  Colored  troops  who  had  composed 
the  Eighth  Regiment  were  not  reorganized  at  that  time,  and  therefore  none 

Distribution  of  troops  was  determined  not  by  the  mihtia  command  but 
by  the  poUce,  because  the  city  was  not  under  martial  law,  the  civil  authority 
being  merely  insufficient,  not  broken.  The  Third  Infantry  covered  the 
territory  from  Thirty-first  to  Thirty-eighth  streets  and  from  State  to  Halsted 
streets;  Eleventh  Infantry  from  Thirty-ninth  to  Forty-seventh  streets,  and 
from  State  to  Halsted  streets;  Tenth  Infantry  from  Forty-eighth  to  Fifty-fifth 
streets  (later  extended  to  Sixty-third  Street  by  details  from  the  First  Infantry), 
and  from  Cottage  Grove  to  Stewart  avenues.  The  First,  Fourth,  and  Ninth 
Infantry  were  held  in  reserve.  Detachments  responded  to  calls  from  the  chief 
of  police  in  districts  outside  these  areas.  Headquarters  for  the  commanding 
general  and  his  chief  of  stafE  were  in  the  Congress  Hotel  at  the  northern  bound- 
ary of  the  riot  zone. 

The  orders  under  which  the  mihtia  operated  did  not  have  the  authority 
of  martial  law.  The  purpose  of  the  orders  was  to  effect  a  thorough  co-operation 
with  the  poUce  only,  and  not  to  take  over  any  duties  other  than  the  preservation 
of  law  and  order.  Except  in  this  respect,  civihan  routine  remained  undisturbed. 
The  method  of  co-operation  put  the  commanding  officer  of  a  regiment  in 
absolute  control,  within  the  limits  above  described,  in  his  district.  The 
police  reduced  their  number  to  normal  requirements  by  removing  their  reserves 
as  soon  as  the  miUtia  moved  in.  The  patrolmen  then  went  about  on  ordinary 
duties  in  the  districts.  Persons  arrested  by  the  miUtia  were  turned  over  to 
the  poUce. 

ResponsibiUty  for  the  preservation  of  law  and  order  rested  on  the  regi- 
mental commanders.  Careful  instructions  were  given  troops  for  preventing 
violence:  they  were  to  act  as  soldiers  in  a  gentlemanly  manner;  they  were  fur- 
nished with  arms  to  enable  them  to  perform  their  duties;  they  were  to  use  the 


arms  only  when  necessary;  they  were  to  use  bayonet  and  butt  in  preference 
to  firing,  but  if  the  situation  demanded  shooting,  they  were  not  to  hesitate 
to  dehver  an  efiective  fire.   Above  all,  the  formation  of  mobs  was  to  be  prevented . 

The  manner  in  which  the  mihtia  was  received  by  various  elements  in  the 
communities  where  stationed  is  illuminating.  Police  officers  were  glad  that 
the  troops  came  to  reUeve  them.  Two  pohcemen  on  duty  with  a  patrol 
exclaimed,  when  they  heard  the  mihtia  had  come  in  force,  "Thank.  God! 
We  can't  stand  up  under  this  much  longer!"  The  poUce  at  Cottage  Grove 
Avenue  said,  "We  are  tickled  to  death  to  see  you  fellows  come  in;  you  have 
never  looked  so  good  to  us  before! "  A  regimental  commander  said  his  organi- 
zation was  "welcomed  into  the  zone,  of  course,  by  everybody,  and  I'd  say 
especially  by  the  colored  people."  A  similar  report  came  from  another 
regimental  commander. 

But  there  was  some  show  of  hostihty  to  the  troops.  Hoodliuns  fired  on 
some  detachments  when  they  first  came  in,  and  Colonel  Bolte  reported  a 
hatred  for  the  troops  by  "  the  Hamburg  Athletic  Club,  the  Ragen's,  and  the 
Emeralds,  and  a  whole  bunch  of  them  over  there  who  didn't  Uke  to  be  con- 
trolled!" Volunteer  exrservice  men  with  no  legal  status,  but  who  aided  the 
poUce  at  the  time,  and  deputy  sherifis  with  overseas  training  ridiculed  the 
militia  with  such  taunts  as,  "Tin  soldiers!"  The  effect  of  this  attitude  on 
the  populace  necessitated  the  arrest  of  some  disturbers  and  the  removal  of 
unauthorized  persons  from  the  streets. 

It  is  a  singular  fact  that  mihtia  activities  were  principally  against  gangs 
of  hoodlums,  and  the  majority  of  these  gangs  were  composed  of  white  youths. 
Said  one  commander,  "  Rowdies  of  the  white  population  tried  to  get  through 
the  Unes  and  had  to  be  arrested."  "At  one  time  a  heavy  truck  or  two  loaded 
with  white  gangsters  attempted  to  break  through  the  militia  but  was  checked." 
Plenty  of  trouble  "with  the  Ragen's  and  other  similar  organizations"  was 
reported  by  yet  another  commander. 

The  mihtia  unquestionably  prevented  mob  formations,  raids,  and  "snip- 
ing." They  checked  marauders  still  in  search  of  prey.  In  many  cases  they 
prevented  the  initial  moves  of  lawlessness  by  taking  stations  at  critical  points 
long  before  raiders  arrived. 

There  was  a  marked  contrast  between  the  mihtia  and  the  police.  The 
troops  were  under  definite  orders;  commanders  had  absolute  control  of  their 
forces  and  knew  at  all  times  where  and  how  many  effectives  were  available. 
Precision  and  promptness  of  movement  was  the  rule.  Reserves  were  always 
at  hand.  Discipline  was  always  good.  Only  one  person,  a  white  man,  was 
killed  by  the  troops.  Whatever  other  restraining  causes  contributed,  it  is 
certain  that  the  riot  was  not  revived  after  the  troops  were  posted. 

Most  of  the  troops  were  withdrawn  on  August  8. 

Volunteers. — Many  Negro  ex-service  men,  formerly  members  of  the  old 
Eighth  Regiment  (Negro)  of  the  lUinois  National  Guard,  donned  theu:  uni- 


forms,  armed,  and  offered  their  services  to  the  police  and  militia.  The  militia 
on  duty  found  that  these  Negro  volunteers  had  no  authority  or  military  status 
and  consequently  ordered  them  to  disband,  which  they  did. 

Before  the  troops  were  called  out,  however,  a  determined  effort  was  made 
by  one  Britton,  white  police  reserve,  to  organize  ex-soldiers  for  volunteer 
service.  He  said  as  many  as  thirty-five  joined  him.  They  were  denied  permits 
to  carry  weapons  but  are  reported  to  have  done  so.  It  was  these  men  who 
used  an  automobile,  driven  with  the  mufflers  open,  to  clear  the  streets. 

Evidence  of  the  use  of  Uquor  was  noticed  among  these  men  during  their 
active  period.  Some  were  involved  in  the  kiUing  of  Samuel  Banks,  Negro; 
some  in  the  robbery  of  a  restaurant  and  in  misdeeds  of  a  minor  character. 
Following  the  imphcation  of  individuals  among  them  in  these  crimes,  numbers 
of  the  ex-soldiers  were  arrested  by  the  poUce,  but  were  released  by  order  of 
Chief  Garrity  on  accoimt  of  the  assistance  many  of  them  had  rendered  the 
department  and  because  of  representations  of  business  men  who  felt  that 
the  arrests  were  unjust. 

Deputy  sheriffs. — In  addition  to  police,  miUtiamen,  and  volunteers,  another 
group  composed  of  specially  recruited  deputy  sheriffs,  appeared  in  the  riot 
zone  as  preservers  of  the  peace.  They  were  sworn  in  by  Sheriff  Peters,  of  Cook 
County,  after  citizens  had  appealed  to  him,  he  said,  to  quell  the  riot.  In  regard 
to  their  formation,  numbers,  orders,  and  duties,  the  sheriff  had  this  to  say: 

I  advertised  for  ex-service  men  to  serve  as  deputy  sheriffs.  A  thousand  or  more 
applied.  They  were  all  men  who  had  returned  from  the  war  and  were  out  of  work. 
I  hired  500  of  them,  kept  them  in  the  army  uniforms,  and  instructed  them  to  shoot 
to  kill  any  disturbers  or  rioters.  The  presence  of  these  men  and  the  show  of  authority 
thereby  made  was  effective,  and  the  riot  was  queUed. 

Fifteen  thousand  dollars  was  spent  on  this  force. 

It  appears  that  these  deputies  came  on  the  scene  toward  the  end  of  the 
riot  week  and  at  once  fell  into  disfavor  with  the  militia,  whom  they  ridiculed 
as  "tin  soldiers"  in  much  the  same  manner  as  did  the  volunteers.  Two  regi- 
mental commanders  of  mihtia  said  the  special  deputies  "did  not  behave  in  a 
very  pleasant  manner"  and  "in  the  majority  of  instances  were  no  good." 
The  sheriff  was  notified  to  caU  them  in  and  they  soon  disappeared.  There  is 
no  record  of  organized  methods  of  procedure  or  of  their  activities. 

Restoration  of  order. — ^Long  before  actual  hostilities  ceased,  and  even 
before  the  arrival  of  the  militia,  various  agencies,  in  addition  to  the  pohce, 
were  at  work  trying  to  hold  lawlessness  in  check  and  restore  order.  Efforts 
of  citizens  of  both  races  helped  greatly  in  bringing  about  peace.  As  long  as 
the  rioting  was  in  progress  thousands  of  Negroes  were  cut  off  from  their  employ- 
ment. The  Stock  Yards  workers  especially  were  affected,  since  Negroes 
hving  east  of  Wentworth  Avenue  would  have  been  forced  to  go  to  work  on 
foot  through  the  district  in  which  the  worst  rioting  occurred.  The  hostiUties 
also  cut  off  the  food  supply  in  the  main  riot  areas.    The  dealers  in  the  "Black 


Belt,"  principally  Jewish  merchants,  became  alarmed  lest  temporary  lack 
of  funds  due  to  the  separation  from  work  and  wages  should  lead  Negroes  to 
loot  their  stores. 

On  August  I,  the  various  packing  companies  made  the  unpaid  wages  of 
Negro  employees  available  for  them  by  establishing  pay  stations  at  the  Chicago 
Urban  League  at  3032  Wabash  Avenue,  the  Wabash  Avenue  Young  Men's 
Christian  Association  at  3763  Wabash  Avenue,  the  South  Side  Community 
Service  House  at  3201  South  Wabash  Avenue,  and  the  Binga  State  Bank, 
Thirty-eighth  and  State  streets.  Approximately  6,000  employees  were  paid 
in  this  way.  Banks  within  the  district  made  smaU  temporary  loans  to  stranded 
persons,  sometimes  without  security.  The  cashier  of  the  Franklin  State 
Bank  at  Thirty-fifth  Street  and  Michigan  Avenue  said  that  he  had  made 
loans  of  more  than  $200  to  Negroes  in  sums  of  $2  and  $3  on  their  simple  promise 
to  pay,  and  that  every  dollar  had  been  repaid. 

All  the  local  newspapers  in  their  editorial  columns  took  a  vigorous  stand 
against  disorder,  urged  the  people  to  be  calm  and  avoid  crowds,  and  were 
insistent  that  those  responsible  for  rioting  should  be  brought  to  justice.  The 
Tribune,  for  example,  pubhshed  editorials  under  the  folloTving  captions: 
" Regain  Order  and  Keep  It,"  " Sane  Men  and  Rioters, "  "This  Is  No  Holiday," 
"The  Facts  of  the  Riot,"  and  "Penalties  for  Rioters."  All  of  these  articles 
were  calm  appeals  for  tolerance,  sanity,  and  dispassionate  inquiry  for  the 
facts.  The  Evening  American,  in  an  editorial  entitled  "This  Is  Chicago's 
Crisis;  Keep  a  Cool  Head,"  said: 

Chicago  is  facing  its  crisis  today. 

In  one  great  section  of  the  city  law  and  order  for  the  time  being  seem  to  have  been 
flung  to  the  four  winds.  White  men  and  colored  men  are  shooting  one  another  down 
in  the  streets  for  no  earthly  cause  except  that  the  color  of  their  faces  differs. 

These  mobs  are  not  representative  of  whites  or  blacks.  They  are  the  hoodlums 
of  both  races.    But  the  law  abiding  whites  and  blacks  are  innocent  victims. 

Hotheads  and  smoking  gun  barrels  have  almost  wrested  the  rule  from  the  keepers 
of  the  peace. 

It  is  worse  than  a  calamity,  this  race  rioting.  It  is  a  deadly,  ghastly  scourge,  a 
dire  contagion  that  is  sweeping  through  a  community  for  no  reason  except  that  mob 
violence  is  contagious. 

It  is  up  to  the  cool-headed  men  of  Chicago  to  settle  the  great  difficulty.  It  is  up 
to  the  serious-minded  business  men  of  the  city  to  get  together  and  find  a  solution  to  a 
problem  which  has  become  so  serious. 

To  meet  violence  with  violence  is  but  making  matters  worse.  Gun  toting  at  a 
time  like  this  only  adds  fuel  to  the  fire  already  raging. 

Reason  is  the  solution.  It  is  mightier  than  the  six-gun.  How  it  is  to  be  exerted 
is  for  the  level-headed  citizenry  to  decide,  and  decade  at  once. 

Hardly  an  hour  passes  that  more  names  are  not  added  to  the  already  long  list  of 
slain  in  the  South  Side  rioting. 

There  is  no  time  to  be  lost.  Other  matters  must  be  put  aside  for  the  moment 
and  a  solution  reached  for  Chicago's  greatest  problem. 


Photograph  taken  at  temporao'  pa\'  station  estabHshed  at  tlic  Y.M.C'.A.  }>y  packing  companies 



Labor  unions  also  took  a  hand  in  the  efforts  toward  peace.  Unionists  of 
both  races  were  exhorted  to  co-operate  in  bringing  about  harmonious  relations, 
and  meetings  for  this  purpose  were  planned  by  trade-union  leaders,  as 
described  in  the  section  of  this  report  dealing  with  the  Negro  in  industry. 
Probably  the  most  effective  effort  of  union  labor  was  the  following  article 
in  the  New  Majority,  the  organ  of  the  Chicago  Federation  of  Labor,  promi- 
nently displayed: 

For  White  Union  Men  to  Read 

Let  any  white  union  worker  who  has  ever  been  on  strike  where  gunmen  or  machine 
gun  have  been  brought  in  and  turned  on  him  and  his  fellows  search  his  memory  and 
recall  how  he  felt.  In  this  critical  moment  let  every  union  man  remember  the  tactics 
of  the  boss  in  a  strike  when  he  tries  by  shooting  to  terrorize  striking  workers  into 
violence  to  protect  themselves. 

Well,  that  is  how  the  Negroes  feel.  They  are  panic-stricken  over  the  prospect  of 
being  killed. 

A  heavy  responsibility  rests  on  the  white  portion  of  the  community  to  stop 
assault  on  Negroes  by  white  men.  Violence  against  them  is  not  the  way  to  solve  the 
vexed  race  problem. 

This  responsibility  rests  particularly  heavy  upon  the  white  men  and  women  of 
organized  labor,  not  because  they  had  anything  to  do  with  starting  the  present 
trouble,  but  because  of  their  advantageous  position  to  help  end  it.  Right  now  it  is 
going  to  be  decided  whether  the  colored  workers  are  to  continue  to  come  into  the 
labor  movement  or  whether  they  are  going  to  feel  that  they  have  been  abandoned  by 
it  and  lose  confidence  in  it. 

It  is  a  critical  time  for  Chicago. 

It  is  a  critical  time  for  organized  labor. 

All  the  influence  of  the  unions  shoxild  be  exerted  on  the  community  to  protect 
colored  feUow-workers  from  the  unreasoning  frenzy  of  race  prejudice.  Indications 
of  the  past  have  been  that  organized  labor  has  gone  further  in  eliminating  race  hatred 
than  any  other  class.    It  is  up  against  the  acid  test  now  to  show  whether  this  is  so. 

Various  social  agencies  took  steps  to  help  in  the  emergency  and  restore 
order.  The  American  Red  Cross  has  a  branch  at  Thirty-fifth  Street  and 
Michigan  Avenue.  As  soon  as  the  rioting  became  serious  a  special  rehef 
headquarters  was  estabUshed  here,  and  food  was  distributed  to  needy  famihes 
cut  off  from  work.  The  Urban  League  was  used  as  a  headquarters  for  the 
distribution  of  food. 

The  Urban  League  had  for  several  years,  through  its  employment  bureau, 
handled  a  large  proportion  of  the  city's  Negro  labor  supply  and  was  conversant 
with  difficulties  likely  to  result  from  the  rioting.  It  made  food  surveys  of 
the  entire  Negro  area,  printed  and  distributed  thousands  of  circulars  and 
dodgers  urging  Negroes  to  stay  off  the  streets,  refrain  from  dangerous  discus- 
sions of  the  riot,  and  co-operate  with  the  poUce  in  every  way  to  maintain  order. 
The  League  sent  telegrams  to  the  governor  and  mayor  suggesting  plans  for 


curbing  disorder,  organized  committees  of  citizens  to  aid  the  authorities  in  re- 
storing order,  and  served  as  a  bureau  of  information  and  medium  of  commu- 
nication between  the  white  and  Negro  groups  during  the  worst  hostilities. 

The  Young  Men's  Christian  Association  was  similarly  active  within  the 
area  of  its  efforts.  ReUgious  bodies,  ministers'  associations,  and  individual 
ministers  exerted  their  influence  over  their  respective  groups  by  advis- 
ing the  citizens  to  "keep  cool,"  "hold  their  heads,"  and  generally  to  let 
the  authorities  settle  the  riot.  Negro  business  men  and  one  Negro  alder- 
man sent  wagons  through  the  streets  bearing  large  signs  which  advised 
Negroes  not  to  congregate  on  streets,  engage  in  arguments,  or  partici- 
pate in  any  way  in  the  disorders.  The  signs  further  stated  that  people  would 
be  advised  when  it  would  be  safe  to  return  to  work.  Other  persons  went  about 
speaking  on  street  corners  urging  co-operation  with  the  police  and  militia. 
Appeals  by  of&cials  and  leading  citizens  were  published  in  the  white  and  Negro 
papers,  carrying  similar  advice.  During  the  riot  a  committee  of  citizens 
representing  fojrty-eight  social,  civic,  commercial,  and  professional  organiza- 
tions met  at  the  Union  League  Club  and  petitioned  the  governor  to  take 
steps  to  quiet  the  existing  disorder  and  appoint  a  commission  to  study  the 
situation  with  a  view  to  preventing  a  repetition  of  it.  As  a  result  of  this  appeal 
followed  by  similar  urgings  by  many  committees,  the  present  Chicago  Commis- 
sion on  Race  Relations  was  appointed  and  began  its  work. 

Aftermath  of  the  riot. — ^Af ter  the  restoration  of  order  community  activities 
were  superficially  the  same  as  before  the  riot,  but  under  the  svu^ace  there 
remained  a  deepened  bitterness  of  race  feeling  which  spread  far  beyond  the 
time  and  territorial  limits  of  the  riot  itself. 

All  the  deep-seated  causes  of  friction  which  had  developed  so  largely 
from  the  failure  to  work  out  an  adjustment  of  the  increased  Negro  population 
due  to  the  migration  were  and  are  still  present,  undiminished  in  influence. 
Consciousness  of  racial  difiference  and  more  or  less  unconscious  fear  and  distrust 
were  increased  and  spread  by  the  riot.  Among  the  whites  this  was  evidenced 
by  the  general  belief  that  Negroes  were  gathering  stores  of  arms  and  ammuni- 
tion. Among  the  Negroes  a  growing  race  soUdarity  has  been  marked.  There  is 
a  greater  lack  of  confidence  in  the  white  man's  law  and  machinery  of  protection. 
Continued  bombings  of  Negro  houses  in  mixed  areas  and  failure  to  apprehend 
the  culprits  no  doubt  strengthen  this  attitude. 

Reports  of  various  Negro  gatherings  held  soon  after  the  riot  show  this 
to  be  the  case.  Many  Negroes  frankly  urged  their  brothers  that  they  must 
arm  themselves  and  figfet  if  attacked.  At  one  meeting  a  Negro  is  reported 
to  have  said: 

The  recent  race  riots  have  done  at  least  one  thing  for  the  colored  race.  In  the 
past  we  Negroes  have  failed  to  appreciate  what  solidarity  means.  We  have,  on  the 
contrary,  been  much  divided.  Since  the  riot  we  are  getting  together  and  devising 
ways  and  means  of  protecting  our  interests.    The  recent  race  riots  have  convinced 


us  that  we  must  take  steps  to  protect  ourselves.  Never  again  will  we  be  found  unpre- 
pared. It  is  the  duty  of  every  man  here  to  provide  himself  with  guns  and  ammunition. 
I,  myself,  have  at  least  one  gun  and  at  least  enough  ammunition  to  make  it  useful. 

The  riot  furnished  the  gang  and  hoodlum  element  a  chance  to  indulge  in 
lawlessness.  Fear  of  death  and  injury  may  help  to  hold  that  element  in  check. 
But  it  cannot  be  argued  that  fear  of  punishment  is  much  of  a  factor,  for  very 
few  convictions  of  rioters  were  secured. 

Quick  justice  would  have  been  a  salutary  means  of  curbing  tendencies  to 
riot,  according  to  both  the  coroner's  jury  and  the  grand  jury.  The  coroner's 
jury  said:  "One  remedy  for  race  rioting  is  a  speedy  conviction  and  punishment 
of  those  guilty,  regardless  of  race  or  color,  giving  all  concerned  a  fair  and 
impartial  hearing."  Its  eighth  recommendation  reads:  "Above  all,  a  strict 
enforcement  of  the  law  by  public  officials,  fair  and  impartial,  will  do  more 
than  any  other  agency  in  restoring  the  good  name  of  Chicago,  and  prevent 
rioting  from  any  cause  from  again  disturbing  the  peace  of  our  city." 

The  August,  1919,  grand  jury  said:  "This  jury  feels  that  in  order  to  allay 
further  race  prejudice  and  to  prevent  the  re-enactment  of  shameful  crimes 
committed  during  the  recent  riots,  efficient,  prompt,  and  fearless  justice  on 
the  part  of  the  judiciary  be  meted  out  to  the  guilty  ones,  whether  they  be  white 
or  black." 

In  a  fair  consideration  of  whether  swift  and  impartial  justice  was  meted 
out,  it  must  be  noted  that  it  was  extremely  hard  to  secure  evidence  sufficient 
for  successful  prosecution.  Police  attention  upon  arriving  at  the  scene  of  a 
clash  was  directed  more  to  removing  the  injured  than  apprehending  the 
guilty.  Where  attempts  were  made  to  search  out  the  offenders,  it  was  next 
to  impossible  to  get  results  on  account  of  the  keen  race  consciousness  which 
made  Negroes  disclaim  knowledge  of  Negro  culprits  and  white  people  deny 
seeing  specific  white  men  act  aggressively.  Many  of  the  crowds  were  neighbor- 
hood gatherings  and  leaders  were  often  the  sons  of  neighbors. 

In  most  of  the  riot  cases  brought  before  the  state's  attorney's  office  the 
same  difficulty  was  experienced.  Whole  blocks  of  residents  were  subpoenaed 
and  accurately  described  the  assaults,  but  failed  entirely  to  recognize  any  of 
the  assailants.  The  grand  jury  found  the  same  obstacle.  The  foreman, 
referring  to  the  kind  of  testimony  brought  before  that  body  by  Negroes  on 
complaints  against  whites,  said:  "  .  .  .  .  they  [the  grand  jury]  usually  found 
it  to  be  hearsay  testimony.  Some  other  individual  told  them  about  So-and-So. 
That  a  crime  had  been  committted  there  was  no  question,  but  to  get  at  the 
root  of  it  was  absolutely  impossible." 

In  spite  of  these  difficulties,  those  familiar  with  the  riot  situation  believe 
that  more  arrests  of  active  rioters  might  have  been  made  and  more  convictions 
obtained.  A  study  of  the  riot  deaths  shows  that  justice  failed  to  be  as  swift 
and  sure  as  the  coroner's  and  grand  juries  recommended.  The  blame  for 
this  failure  is  variously  placed  on  the  police,  state's  attorney,  judge,  or  jury, 



according  to  the  prejudice  of  the  one  attempting  to  fix  blame,  or  his  connection 
with  any  of  these  agencies.  The  fact  remains  that  the  punitive  results  of  the 
legal  processes  were  too  neghgible  to  furnish  a  proper  deterrent  to  future 

Of  the  tUrty-eight  persons  whose  death  constituted  the  riot's  principal 

Fifteen  met  death  at  the  hands  of  mobs.  The  coroners'  jury  recommended 
that  the  members  of  the  unknown  mobs  be  apprehended.  None  were  ever 

Six  were  killed  under  circmnstances  establishing  no  criminal  responsibility: 
three  white  men  were  killed  by  Negroes  in  self-defense,  and  three  Negroes 
were  shot  by  policemen  in  the  discharge  of  their  duty. 

Four  Negroes  lost  their  hves  in  the  Angelus  riot.  The  coroner  made  no 
recommendations,  and  the  cases  were  not  carried  farther. 

Four  cases — two  Negro  and  two  white — led  to  recommendations  from  the 
coroner's  jury  for  further  investigation  of  certain  persons,  but  sufficient 
evidence  was  lacking  for  indictments. 

Niae  cases  resulted  in  indictments,  four  of  which  led  to  convictions. 

Thus  in  only  four  cases  was  criminal  responsibility  for  death  fixed  and 
punishment  meted  out  to  the  guilty. 

Indictments  and  convictions  are  divided  according  to  the  race  of  the 
persons  criminally  involved  as  follows: 
















*  For  brief  description  of  cases  see  Appendix. 

There  is  evidence  that  the  riot  of  1919  aroused  many  citizens  of  both  races 
to  a  quickened  sense  of  the  suffering  and  disgrace  which  had  come  and  might 
come  again  to  the  community,  and  developed  a  determination  to  prevent  a 
recurrence  of  so  disastrous  an  outbreak  of  race  hatred.  This  was  manifest, 
as  another  section  of  this  report  shows,  in  the  courage  and  control  which  people 
of  both  races  displayed  on  at  least  two  occasions  in  1920  when  confronted 
suddenly  with  events  out  of  which  serious  riots  might  easily  have  grown. 

This  examination  of  the  facts  of  the  riot  reveals  certain  outstanding 
features,  as  follows: 

1.  The  riot  violence  was  not  continuous,  hoxir  by  hour,  but  was  inter- 

2.  The  greatest  number  of  injiuries  occurred  in  the  district  west  of  Went- 
worth  Avenue,  inclusive  of  Wentworth,  and  south  of  the  Chicago  River  to 




Fifty-fifth  Street,  or,  broadly  speaking,  in  the  Stock  Yards  district.  The 
next  greatest  number  occurred  in  the  so-called  "Black  Belt,"  Twenty-second 
to  Thirty-ninth  streets,  inclusive,  Wentworth  to  the  lake,  exclusive  of  Went- 
worth;  Thirty-ninth  to  Fifty-fifth  streets,  inclusive,  Clark  Street  to  Michigan 
Avenue,  exclusive  of  Michigan. 

3.  Organized  raids  occurred  only  after  a  period  of  sporadic  clashes  and 
spontaneous  mob  outbreaks. 

4.  Main  thoroughfares  witnessed  76  per  cent  of  the  injuries  on  the  South 
Side.  The  streets  which  suffered  most  severely  were  State,  Halsted,  Thirty- 
first,  Thirty-fifth,  and  Forty-seventh.  Transfer  corners  were  always  centers 
of  trouble. 

5.  Most  of  the  rioting  occurred  after  working  hours.  This  was  particularly 
true  after  the  street-car  strike  started. 

6.  Gangs,  particularly  among  the  young  whites,  formed  definite  nuclei  for 
crowd  and  mob  leadership.    "Athletic  clubs"  supplied  the  leaders  of  many  gangs. 

7.  Whites  usually  employed  fists  and  clubs  in  their  attacks  upon  Negroes; 
Negroes  used  firearms  and  knives  in  their  attacks. 

8.  Crowds  and  mobs  engaged  in  rioting  were  usually  composed  of  a  small 
nucleus  of  leaders  and  an  acquiescing  mass  of  spectators.  The  leaders  were 
young  men,  usually  between  sixteen  and  twenty-one.  Dispersal  was  most 
effectively  accomphshed  by  sudden,  unexpected  gun  fire. 

9.  Rmnor  kept  the  crowds  in  an  excited,  potential  mob  state.  The  press 
was  responsible  for  wide  dissemination  of  much  of  the  inflammatory  matter 
in  spoken  rumors,  though  editorials  calculated  to  aUay  race  hatred  and  help 
the  forces  of  order  were  factors  in  the  restoration  of  peace. 

10.  The  police  lacked  suf&cient  forces  for  handhng  the  riot;  they  were 
hampered  by  the  Negroes'  distrust  of  them;  routing  orders  and  records  were 
not  handled  with  proper  care;  certain  oflS.cers  were  undoubtedly  unsuited  to 
poUce  or  riot  duty. 

11.  The  personnel  of  the  miUtia  employed  in  this  riot  was  of  an  unusually 
high  t3rpe.  This  unquestionably  accounts  for  the  confidence  placed  in  them 
by  both  races.  Riot  training,  definite  orders,  and  good  staff  work  contributed 
to  their  eflSciency. 

12.  The  machinery  of  justice  was  affected  by  prejudices  and  political 

From  their  reviews  of  the  evidence  brought  before  them,  the  coroner's 
jury  and  the  grand  jury  presented  analyses  of  the  riot,  and  each  made  recom- 
mendations of  a  remedial  sort.    These  recommendations  follow: 

coroner's  jury  recommendations 

1.  We  believe  that  a  representative  committee  of  white  and  colored  people, 
working  together,  could  suggest  and  bring  about  the  necessary  and  advisable  changes. 

2.  In  specifically  attacking  the  housing  situation:  The  correction  of  the  evil  by 
enlarging  the  living  quarters  and  placing  them  in  a  better  sanitary  state  would  in 


part  solve  the  difficulty.    We  believe  voluntary  segregation  would  follow  and  to  a 
considerable  extent  remove  one  cause  of  unrest. 

This  is  a  matter  that  might  well  be  considered  by  the  Real  Estate  Board  and  by 
improvement  clubs  and  organizations  of  property  owners  in  the  South  Division,  and 
by  the  Health  Department. 

3.  In  regard  to  the  "athletic  clubs":  Properly  governed  and  controlled  they 
should  be  encouraged  and  fostered  and,  when  necessary,  disciplined. 

4.  Hoodlimiism  evokes  this  comment:  Citizeiis  of  Chicago,  make  your  hoodlum 
element  amenable  to  law,  break  up  and  destroy  hoodlumism  as  you  would  a  pestilence. 
It  is  our  belief  that  this  element  can  be  brought  under  control  of  the  law,  and  it  must 
be  done  if  we  are  to  remove  the  danger  of  rioting  from  any  cause.  Vicious  hoodlum- 
ism, entirely  aside  from  race  hatred,  was  present  in  practically  all  of  the  thirty-eight 
killings,  known  as  race  riots. 

5.  We  earnestly  urge  that  fathers  and  mothers  teach  their  children  the  lesson 
of  remaining  at  home  when  rioting  occurs,  and  furthermore,  they  should  be  kept 
occupied,  as  idleness  and  bad  association  often  cause  young  people  to  become  bad 
men  and  women. 

6.  One  remedy  for  race  rioting  is  a  speedy  conviction  and  punishment  of  those 
guilty,  regardless  of  race  or  color,  giving  all  concerned  a  fair  and  impartial  hearing. 

7.  Tolerance  must  be  practiced  between  both  white  and  colored  in  the  discussion 
of  the  race  problem,  practiced  in  our  everyday  intercourse,  in  public  conveyances, 
and  in  meetings  of  all  kinds. 

8.  Our  attention  was  called  strikingly  to  the  fact  that  at  the  time  of  race  rioting 
the  arrests  made  for  rioting  by  the  police  of  colored  rioters  were  far  in  excess  of  the 
arrests  made  of  white  rioters.  The  failure  of  the  police  to  arrest  impartially  at  the 
time  of  rioting,  whether  from  insufficient  effort  or  otherwise,  was  a  mistake  and  had  a 
tendency  to  further  incite  and  aggravate  the  colored  population. 

9.  In  cases  of  murder  it  is  of  the  utmost  importance  that  expert  crimiaologists 
should  arrive  on  the  scene  at  the  earliest  possible  moment,  and  that  a  complete  exami- 
nation may  be  made  of  the  scene  of  the  murder  before  the  body  is  removed  or  handled, 
and  while  the  necessary  evidence  for  conviction  may  be  obtained,  which  otherwise 
may  be  lost  or  destroyed.  We  have  found  in  the  riot  cases  many  instances  where  the 
removal  of  bodies  by  inexperienced  men,  in  some  cases  police  officers,  destroyed 
valuable  evidence. 

We  heartily  concur  with  Coroner  Hoffman  as  to  the  fact  that  Chicago  badly  needs 
a  permanent  murder-investigation  squad,  which  the  coroner  planned  and  has  so 
persistently  advocated  in  the  past.  We  believe  that  this  squad  should  be  equipped 
with  motor  vehicles  and  subject  to  call  at  any  hour  of  the  day  or  night.  This  squad 
should  consist  of  six  or  more  trained  policemen,  working  in  relays  of  eight  hours,  a 
photographer,  a  finger-print  expert,  a  coroner's  physician  and  chemist,  the  coroner  or 
deputy  coroner,  and  a  state's  attorney.  In  addition  thereto,  two  trained  poHcemen 
from  the  police  department  precinct  wherein  the  murder  occurred,  and  a  representative 
of  the  City  News  Bureau.  This  squad  should  be  available  for  immediate  service,  and 
it  should  be  the  duty  of  the  police  at  the  scene  of  the  murder  to  allow  no  one  to  handle 
the  body  or  enter  premises  where  murder  occurred  until  the  arrival  of  the  squad. 

10.  The  police  force  should  be  enlarged.  It  is  too  small  to  cope  with  the  needs 
of  Chicago,  and  under  the  present  living  conditions  the  policeman's  pay  is  entirely 
inadequate  and  should  be  substantially  increased. 


Superannuated  and  incapacitated  members  of  the  police  force  should  be  retired 
under  a  proper  and  satisfactory  pension  system. 

There  shoidd  be  organization  of  the  force  for  riot  work,  for  the  purpose  of  control- 
ling rioting  in  its  incipient  stages. 


1.  It  is  reasonable  to  beUeve  that  the  colored  people,  if  provided  with  proper 
housing  facilities  and  an  area  sufficient  in  extent,  would  voluntarily  segregate  them- 
selves. The  present  neighborhood  known  as  the  "Black  Belt"  could,  by  reasonable 
pubhc  improvement,  assisted  by  our  leading  pubhc  citizens,  be  made  a  decent  place 
to  Uve  in  for  a  much  larger  population  than  it  now  accommodates This  move- 
ment shoiild  enUst  the  financial  and  moral  support  of  the  industries  employing  large 
numbers  of  the  black  race. 

2.  Facilities  for  bathing,  playgrounds,  poUce  protection,  better  housing  and 
neighborhood  conditions,  are  matters  deserving  the  earnest  attention  of  the  proper 

3.  The  employment  of  the  colored  people  is  imperative  to  the  weKare  of  this  com- 
munity. Discriminating  against  the  Negro,  or,  in  other  words,  failure  to  give  him  an 
opportunity  to  make  an  honest  UveUhood  after  having  induced  him  to  migrate  to 
this  section  of  the  country,  simply  adds  to  the  already  far  too  great  number  of  hood- 
lums that  infest  our  city. 

4.  This  jury  feels  that  in  order  to  aUay  further  race  prejudice  and  to  prevent 
the  re-enactment  of  shameful  crimes  committed  during  the  recent  riots,  efficient 
prompt,  and  fearless  justice  on  the  part  of  the  law-enforcing  officers,  as  weU  as  on 
the  part  of  the  judiciary,  be  meted  out  to  the  guilty  ones,  whether  they  be  white  or 

5 There  is  a  lack  of  co-operation  and  harmony  among  the  agencies  of  law 

enforcement,  which  impairs  their  efficiency,  leads  to  miscarriages  of  justice,  and  wastes 
the  pubhc  funds. 

6.  The  parole  law  shoiild  be  amended  so  that  a  criminal  once  paroled  and  sub- 
sequently arrested  may  not  a  second  time  be  paroled. 

7.  The  efficiency  of  the  police  force  would  be  further  greatly  increased  by  the 
co-operation  of  the  judiciary  in  refusing  to  grant  wholesale  continuances  without 
carefully  scrutinizing  the  results  thereof  when  members  of  the  police  force  are  required 
to  act  as  witnesses. 

8.  The  pohce  department  is  in  need  of  a  thorough  house-cleaning.  Every  officer, 
no  matter  what  his  position  is,  who  fails  in  his  fuU  duty  should  be  dismissed.  Graft- 
ers and  those  who  allow  themselves  to  be  dominated  by  political  influences,  who  are 
paid  to  protect  the  lives  and  property  of  our  citizens,  should  be  dismissed  and  punished 
to  the  fullest  extent  of  the  law. 

9.  It  is  the  opinion  of  this  jury  that  the  police  force  is  also  inadequate  in  numbers, 
and  at  least  one  thousand  (1,000)  officers  should  be  added  to  the  existing  force. 

10.  Pohcemen  who  have  arrived  at  the  age  where  their  usefulness  is  a  matter 
of  the  past  should  be  pensioned,  notwithstanding  their  present  number,  and  not- 
withstanding the  fact  that  the  pension  fund  is  already  taxed  to  its  utmost.  The 
needed  funds  for  this  purpose  should  be  provided. 

II payment  of  salaries  to  pubhc  officers  commensurate  with  the  increased 

cost  of  living. 


12.  The  authorities  employed  to  enforce  the  law  should  thoroughly  investigate 
clubs  and  other  organizations  posing  as  athletic  and  social  clubs  which  really  are 
organizations  of  hoodlums  and  criminals  formed  for  the  purpose  of  furthering  the 
interest  of  local  poKtics. 

13.  The  jury  also  finds  that  vice  of  all  kinds  is  rampant  in  the  "Black  Belt,"  and 
a  thorough  cleaning  up  of  that  district  is  absolutely  essential  to  the  peace  and  welfare 
of  the  commtmity. 

14.  PoHtical  influence  to  a  large  extent  is  responsible  for  the  brazenness  with 
which  the  Chicago  biun,  pickpocket,  and  gun  and  hold-up  man  operates.  It  is  also 
the  opinion  of  the  jury  that  the  indeterminate-sentence  law  frequently  operates  in  a 
miscarriage  of  justice,  and  it  is  our  opinion  that  the  court  should  fix  the  sentence  of 
offenders  at  the  time  of  their  conviction. 

15.  Because  of  the  large  number  of  young  boys  involved  in  the  rioting,  the  jury 
recommends  the  resumption  of  the  activities  of  the  Y.M.C.A.,  the  Knights  of  Colum- 
bus, and  Salvation  Army,  as  well  as  other  similar  organizations 



I.    Minor  Clashes  in  and  near  Chicago 


The  race  riot  of  19 19  in  Chicago  was  preceded  by  a  long  series  of  more 
or  less  serious  clashes  between  whites  and  Negroes.  Some  of  these  are  discussed 
in  the  section  of  this  report  deaUng  with  contacts  in  recreation.  Others  are 
here  described  to  show  the  development  of  friction  and  conflict  leading  up  to 
the  1919  riot.  Two  brutal  and  improvoked  murders  of  Negroes  by  gangs 
of  white  hoodlums  preceded  the  riot  by  only  a  few  weeks. 

In  many  of  the  antecedent  clashes  a  conspicuous  part  was  played  by  gangs 
or  clubs  of  white  boys  and  young  men.  These  operations  frequently  showed 
organization,  and  the  gangsters  were  often  armed  with  brass  knuckles,  clubs, 
and  revolvers. 

Some  of  the  earlier  clashes,  however,  did  not  have  their  origin  in  gang 
activities.  For  instance,  it  may  be  that  the  resentment  by  whites  of  the 
coming  of  Negroes  into  their  neighborhood  inspired  the  crowd  of  boys  between 
twelve  and  sixteen  years  of  age  who,  in  February,  191 7,  stoned  a  four-flat 
building  at  456  West  Forty-sixth  Street.  Two  Negro  families  moved  into 
the  two  second-floor  flats  of  this  building.  The  next  afternoon  about  100 
boys  from  nearby  schools  stoned  the  building.  The  two  Negroes  attempted 
to  remonstrate  but  were  driven  back.  One  of  them  reached  the  office  of  the 
agent  of  the  building,  who  notified  the  police.  A  patrol  wagon  responded, 
but  the  boys  had  disappeared.  After  it  had  gone  the  boys  reappeared  and 
renewed  the  stoning.  Every  window  in  the  upper  part  of  the  building  was 
broken.  On  a  second  riot  cafl  Captain  Caughlin  and  Lieutenant  James 
McGann  and  a  squad  of  pohce  rescued  the  Negroes,  who  shortly  afterward 
sought  other  quarters. 

Detectives  learned  the  identity  of  thirty  of  the  boys,  some  of  whom  con- 
fessed. With  their  parents  they  were  compelled  to  appear  at  the  Stock 
Yards  police  station  and  pay  for  the  damage  inflicted. 

The  death  of  a  white  man,  wrongly  thought  to  have  been  murdered  by 
Negroes,  led  to  rioting  on  the  night  of  July  3,  1917,  in  which  a  party  of  white 
men  in  an  automobile  fired  upon  a  group  of  Negroes  at  Fifty-third  and  Federal 
streets.  Apparently  no  one  was  hit.  Earlier  in  the  evening  Charles  A. 
Maronde,  a  saloon-keeper  at  5161  South  State  Street,  had  been  found  dead 
following  an  altercation  with  Negroes  whose  passage  through  his  premises 
had  irritated  him.    Two  shots  were  fired,  but  it  was  not  proved  whether  by 



Maronde  or  by  the  Negroes.    A  coroner's  jury  found  that  he  had  died  of 
heart  disease. 

In  July  and  August,  1917,  there  were  minor  outbreaks  of  trouble  between 
Negroes  and  naval  recruits  from  the  Great  Lakes  Naval  Training  Station. 
In  some  instances  recruits  and  in  others  Negroes  were  reported  to  be  the 

When  organized  gangs  took  part  in  clashes  the  results  were  more  serious. 
A  typical  case  started  in  the  Kohler  saloon  at  South  State  and  Fifty-first 
streets  on  May  27,  19 19,  two  months  before  the  riot. 

A  group  of  about  ten  white  men  entered  the  saloon  together.  When  a 
Negro  came  in  and  called  for  a  drink,  one  of  the  whites  knocked  him  down  and 
kicked  him  out  of  the  front  door.  Arming  himself  with  brickbats,  the  Negro 
called  on  the  whites  to  come  out.  The  gang  crossed  to  another  saloon  on  the 
opposite  corner,  and  when  they  left  it  shortly  afterward,  they  carried  revolvers. 
They  then  beat  the  Negro,  cutting  his  head.  Dr.  Homer  Cooper,  whose 
ofi&ce  is  above  the  Kohler  saloon,  and  one  of  his  patients,  Michael  Pantaliono, 
witnessed  the  affray. 

Roscoe  C.  Johnston,  a  Negro  plain-clothes  man  who  had  been  on  the 
police  force  only  four  days,  was  told  of  the  trouble  by  a  citizen  and  foimd  the 
gang  in  the  second  saloon.  As  he  approached.  Mart.  Flannigan  drew  a  revolver. 
Johnston  called  two  plain-clothes  men,  who  chanced  to  be  outside,  to  summon 
a  patrol  wagon,  then  followed  the  gang  back  to  the  Kohler  saloon  and  disarmed 
and  arrested  Flannigan.  Johnston  found  three  automatic  revolvers  behind 
the  bar  in  the  saloon  and  arrested  three  more  of  the  men  for  carrying  concealed 
weapons.  Later  six  more  of  the  men  were  taken  when  the  patrol  wagon 
returned  to  Kohler's,  including  Patten,  the  bartender. 

The  cases  of  these  ten  men  were  dismissed  when  they  came  to  trial  a  week 
later  before  Judge  Grant;  lack  of  evidence  was  the  reason  given.  Flannigan 
explained  that  he  carried  the  gun  to  protect  himself  whUe  taking  money  to 
the  bank.  These  young  men  were  said  by  onlookers  to  be  members  of "  Ragen's 

"Ragen's  Colts"  were  frequently  identified  with  lawlessness  and  specific 
clashes  before  and  during  the  riot.  They  are  typical  of  the  gangs  and  "  athletic 
clubs"  which  were  responsible  for  much  disorder,  including  attacks  upon 
Negroes.  This  organization  was  sponsored  by  Frank  Ragen,  a  politician  whose 
record  and  methods  have  long  offended  the  decent  citizenship  of  Chicago. 
As  a  member  of  the  Board  of  Cook  County  Commissioners,  he  aUied  himself 
with  a  spoils-seeking  majority  against  which  two  or  three  public-spirited 
members  waged  a  courageous  struggle.  His  participation  in  the  Board's 
deliberations  was  marked  by  such  conduct  as  the  hurling  of  a  large  record 
book  and  inkwells  at  members  who  opposed  the  "ring." 

As  part  of  his  poUtical  following  he  gathered  about  him  the  young  hoodlums 
who  make  up  an  important  element  of  the  club  on  which  he  bestowed  his  name. 


Ragen's  influence  has  often  been  able  to  protect  the  "Colts"  from  punishment 
for  criminal  acts,  including  the  persecution  of  Negroes. 

Other  "athletic"  and  "social"  clubs,  though  not  so  notorious,  have  been 
of  a  like  nature.  Miss  Mary  McDowell,  head  resident  of  the  University  of 
Chicago  Social  Settlement,  told  the  Commission  that  she  knew  of  five  such 
clubs  composed  of  young  men  between  seventeen  and  twenty- two: 

Especially  before  the  war  they  were  always  under  obligation  to  some  politician 
for  renting  a  store  and  paying  the  initial  expenses  of  their  clubs.  That 's  what  started 
them,  and  it  has  come  to  be  quite  the  fashion  to  get  an  empty  store  with  big  panes  of 
glass  on  which  they  like  to  put  their  names.  I  am  speaking  now  of  "  back  of  the  Yards" 

The  Ragen  Club  is  mostly  Irish-American.  The  others  are  from  the  second 
generation  of  many  nationalities.  I  don 't  think  they  have  deliberate  criminal  desires. 
I  think  they  get  into  these  ways,  and  then  they  are  used  and  exploited  often  by  poUti- 

cians It  is  about  the  most  dangerous  thing  that  we  have  in  the  city.    Whether 

the  police  could  not  stop  them  at  the  time  of  the  riot  on  the  Monday  when  they  went 
down  Forty-seventh  Street  with  firearms  showing  in  their  hands  in  autos  (a  young 
man  living  with  us  can  give  you  his  afiidavit  on  it)  and  shouting  as  they  went,  "We'll 
get  those  niggers! "  I  don't  suppose  anybody  would  want  to  say,  but  the  fact  remains 
that  nobody  did  stop  them.  They  went  across  Halsted  Street  towards  State  Street. 
Four  poUcemen  were  there  and  they  never  stopped  them  at  all. 

Miss  Jane  Addams,  of  HuU-House,  also  described  to  the  Commission  the 
way  in  which  the  ward  pohticians  are  responsible  for  these  clubs.    She  said: 

The  politicians  have  had  a  new  trick  the  last  few  years  aU  over  the  city.  They 
pay  rent,  as  Miss  McDowell  said,  for  clubs  of  boys  below  the  voting  age.  The  poHti- 
cian  used  to  take  care  of  the  young  voter  and  the  boy  nearly  a  voter,  but  now  he  comes 
down  to  boys  of  thirteen  and  fourteen  and  fifteen  and  begins  to  pay  their  rent  and 
give  them  special  privileges  and  keeps  the  poUce  ofi  when  they  are  gambling.  The 
whole  boy  problem  is  very  much  more  mixed  up  with  these — ^I  won't  call  them  gangs, 
but  they  are  clubs  with  more  or  less  poUtical  afl&Uations.  They  are  not  always  loyal 
to  their  poKtical  boss,  but  he  expects  them  to  be  and  they  are,  more  or  less. 

The  gangs  and  "athletic  clubs"  became  more  boldly  active  in  the  spring 
of  19 1 9.  On  the  night  of  June  21,  five  weeks  before  the  riot,  there  were  two 
wanton  murders  of  Negroes  by  gangs  of  white  hoodlums.  One  of  the  Negroes 
was  Sanford  Harris,  the  other  Joseph  Robinson.  There  is  no  evidence  that 
either  had  been  offensive  in  any  way,  yet  they  were  deUberately  killed  by  gangs. 
There  is  evidence  that  the  gangs  in  the  neighborhoods  of  these  crimes  had 
spread  such  fear  among  Negro  residents  that  murders  of  this  kind  were  not 

Harris  lived  on  Dearborn  Street  between  Fifty-sixth  and  Fifty-seventh 
streets.  About  11:30  p.m.  on  June  21  he  escorted  from  his  home  to  a  street 
car  at  State  and  Fifty-seventh  streets  a  woman  friend  who  had  been  calling  on 
his  wife.  A  Negro  man,  woman,  and  child  alighted  from  this  car,  and  Harris 
walked  behind  them  west  on  Fifty-seventh  Str??t  on  his  way  home,    A  nmnbeT 


of  white  youths  approached  the  man,  woman,  and  child,  one  of  the  gang  saying, 
"Let's  get  that  nigger, "  referring  to  the  man.  Because  of  the  child's  presence 
they  were  allowed  to  pass  unmolested. 

Then  the  gang  caught  sight  of  Harris,  who  started  to  run  across  a  vacant  lot 
toward  his  home.  A  shot  was  fired  and  Harris  fell  after  going  a  short  distance. 
He  died  at  the  Cook  County  Hospital  from  peritonitis  due  to  the  buUet  wound. 

A  woman  living  near  Fifty-seventh  and  Dearborn  streets  caught  hold  of 
one  of  the  gang  who  had  a  pistol  in  his  hand.  A  plain-clothes  policeman 
appeared,  and  she  called  upon  him  to  arrest  the  gangster  who,  she  said,  had 
shot  Harris.  The  detective  merely  asked  how  she  was  able  to  pick  out  the 
man  who  had  fired  the  shot.  Apparently  he  ignored  the  fact  that  the  man 
held  a  revolver  in  his  hand,  nor  does  it  appear  that  he  even  looked  to  see  whether 
it  had  been  recently  discharged. 

A  Mrs.  T — ,  who  lived  above  the  saloon  at  the  northwest  corner  of  State 
and  Fifty-seventh  streets,  had  witnessed  the  assault  on  Harris  from  her  back 
porch.  When  other  plain-clothes  men  came  upon  the  scene,  she  told  them 
that  the  gang  had  hidden  under  the  viaduct  on  Fifty-seventh  Street  west  of 
Dearborn,  but  there  were  no  arrests  and  apparently  no  attempts  to  make  any. 

Earher  the  same  evening,  an  altercation  had  taken  place  between  a  number 
of  white  boys  from  sixteen  to  twenty  years  of  age  and  Thomas  Johnson, 
a  Negro  who,  with  a  Mrs.  Moss,  conducted  a  store  next  to  a  saloon  at 
State  and  Fifty-seventh  streets.  The  boys  had  been  loafing  outside  the 
door  and  using  foul  language.  Johnson  remonstrated  with  them  and  finally 
got  a  stick  and  started  after  them.  A  number  of  other  Negroes  aided  in 
driving  off  the  boys,  who,  as  they  left,  threatened  to  "get  a  gang  and  come 
back  and  get  you."    It  is  thought  that  this  was  the  gang  that  killed  Harris. 

Joseph  Robmson,  the  other  Negro  kiUed  that  same  night,  had  hved  at 
514  West  Fifty-fourth  Place.  He  was  forty-seven  years  of  age,  a  laborer  for 
the  Union  Coal  Company,  and  had  a  wife  and  six  children,  the  oldest  seventeen 
years  of  age.  He  was  attacked  by  a  gang  at  Fifty-fifth  Street  and  Princeton 
Avenue,  apparently  without  provocation,  and  received  knife  wounds  in  the 
back  and  left  leg.    He  died  from  shock  and  hemorrhages  on  June  23. 

A  man  named  Morden,  who  hved  at  5713  Drexel  Avenue,  testified  at  the 
Robinson  inquest  that  he  had  met  a  gang  of  from  fifteen  to  thirty  men  at  Fifty- 
fifth  Street  and  Shields  Avenue  about  a  block  from  Princeton  Avenue.  He  said 
the  gang  was  walking  rapidly  east  and  divided  to  pass  him.  He  was  not  far 
away  when  Robinson  was  attacked.  The  Negro  had  evidently  been  coming 
in  the  opposite  direction,  west  on  Fifty-fifth  Street  (Garfield  Boulevard)  and 
the  assault  began  the  instant  he  met  the  gang.  Morden  heard  a  shot  fired 
and  saw  Robinson  stagger  across  the  street  to  a  candy  store.  He  saw  several 
men  rush  forward  and  help  Robinson  in  the  door  as  the  gang  scattered.  Morden 
declared  that  several  of  the  gang  carried  clubs,  and  that  he  saw  several  of  these 
during  the  assault. 


Nicholas  Gianakas,  who  conducted  the  candy  store  at  5458  Princeton 
Avenue,  into  which  the  wounded  man  had  run,  testified  that  he  heard  the  shot 
and  saw  people  outside  running  in  all  directions.  He  saw  Robinson  coming 
in  the  door  with  blood  running  off  him.  Presently  Robinson  got  up  and  went 
outside  to  sit  on  the  curb.  Gianakas  called  up  the  police  station  for  an  ambu- 
lance. He  saw  no  weapons  in  the  hands  of  any  of  the  crowd  outside  and 
recognized  none  of  them.  He  heard  people  saying  that  a  mob  had  come  from 
"the  Yards." 

Peter  Paul  Byrne,  a  patrolman,  testified  that  he  had  been  called  from  his 
beat  at  Fifty-fifth  and  State  streets  by  a  man  in  an  automobile,  who  drove  him 
to  the  candy  store.  There  he  also  telephoned  for  an  ambulance,  then  went 
out  and  rounded  up  "some  kids"  on  suspicion.  There  was  a  big  crowd 
around,  he  said,  men,  women,  and  children. 

One  man  testified  at  the  inquest  that  an  acquaintance  spoke  of  having 
seen  a  Greek  run  out  of  the  candy  store  and  hit  Robinson  on  the  head  with  a 
hammer  or  hatchet.  But  this  acquaintance,  when  called  to  testify,  denied 
the  story. 

Captain  Caughlin,  in  charge  of  the  police  of  that  precinct,  testified  that  a 
number  of  men  had  been  arrested  on  suspicion,  but  all  of  them  had  been 
discharged  because  none  of  them  knew  anything  about  the  matter.  People 
had  been  rurming  in  every  direction,  he  said,  there  had  been  a  good  deal  of 
commotion,  and  he  seemed  to  think  it  would  have  been  virtually  impossible 
for  the  pohce  to  find  any  of  the  guilty  persons. 

C.  L.  McCutcheon,  a  Negro  railway  postal  clerk,  Hving  at  517  West 
Fifty-fourth  Place,  testified  at  the  inquest  that  he  had  been  threatened  by 
mobs,  that  a  gang  over  on  the  boulevard  had  so  terrorized  the  fifteen  or  twenty 
"colored  boys"  in  the  neighborhood  for  a  long  time  that  none  of  them  dared 
to  go  about  alone;  that  he  himself  had  two  boys  who  would  not  go  on  Halsted 
Street  for  $10  a  trip. 

Following  the  killing  of  Harris  and  Robinson  notices  were  posted  along 
Garfield  Boulevard  and  some  neighboring  streets  saying  that  the  authors  of 
the  notices  would  "get"  all  the  "niggers"  on  July  4,  1919.  These  notices 
also  called  for  help  from  sympathizers.  They  predicted  that  there  would  be 
a  street-car  strike  on  the  appointed  day,  and  that  then  they  expected  to  run 
all  Negroes  out  of  the  district.  Some  witnesses  at  the  inquest  stated  that 
the  Negroes  of  the  district,  who  up  to  that  time  had  done  nothing  to  protect 
themselves,  were  advised  by  friendly  whites  to  "prepare  for  the  worst,"  as 
trouble  could  scarcely  be  avoided. 


May  31  and  June  2,  1920 

Waukegan,  Illinois,  thirty-six  miles  north  of  Chicago  and  near  the  Great 
Lakes  Naval  Training  Station  of  the  United  States  Navy,  was  the  scene  of 


two  riotous  attacks  during  the  nights  of  May  31  and  June  2, 1920,  on  a  lodging- 
house  for  Negroes,  by  bands  of  recruits  on  leave  from  the  Naval  Training 
Station.  No  hves  were  lost,  and  only  two  persons  were  hurt,  neither  of  them 

These  outbursts  scarcely  classify  as  race  riots.  The  chief  motive  seems  to 
have  been  a  desire  for  excitement  on  the  part  of  young  and  active  naval  recruits. 

The  Sherman  House  was  a  dilapidated  place  on  Genesee  Street,  the  main 
street  of  the  town.  It  had  been  abandoned  by  whites  and  was  run  as  a  lodging- 
house  for  thirty  or  thirty-five  unmarried  Negroes,  chiefly  factory  workers. 
On  the  first  floor  was  a  poohoom  and  soft-drink  "parlor,"  which  some  of  the 
naval  recruits  had  patronized. 

A  mischievous  Negro  boy  of  ten  years,  George  Taylor,  was  primarily  respon- 
sible for  the  outbreaks.  On  the  afternoon  of  May  31  he  and  his  Uttle  sister  had 
been  throwing  stones  at  passing  automobiles  in  Sheridan  Road.  One  of  these 
missiles  broke  the  wind  shield  of  an  automobile  driven  by  Lieutenant  A.  F. 
Blazier,  an  oflBicer  at  the  Great  Lakes  Station,  who  allowed  this  fact  to  become 
known  to  some  of  the  recruits  at  the  station.  Late  that  evening  an  unorganized 
mob  of  recruits  assembled  at  the  Sherman  House  and  threw  stones,  breaking 
nearly  all  the  windows.  The  mob  was  rushed  by  all  the  available  pohce  in 
Waukegan,  who  took  six  prisoners.  One  reported  incident  was  the  chasing  of 
a  Negro  by  hah  a  dozen  bluejackets  and  marines  and  his  rescue  by  the  police. 

Provost  guards  from  the  Naval  Station  rounded  up  the  rioters  and  took 
them  back  to  Great  Lakes,  thus  ending  the  outbreak. 

Two  nights  later,  or  June  2,  150  boys  on  leave  from  the  Naval  Training 
Station  renewed  the  attack.  They  gathered  in  a  ravine  near  the  hotel  and 
at  ten  o'clock  they  poured  forth,  led  by  a  sailor  carrying  an  American  flag. 
The  police  had  been  warned  and  were  ready  with  reinforcements. 

About  seventy-five  feet  from  the  lodging-house  the  poUce  ordered  the 
attackers  to  halt;  no  attention  was  paid  to  the  command,  and  they  fired 
their  riot  guns  in  the  air,  wounding  two  marines  who  were  some  distance 
away.  Hand-to-hand  fighting  ensued,  diuring  which  the  pohce  seized  the 
flag  and  arrested  two  marines.  The  Great  Lakes  boys  gathered  about  the 
police  station  and  demanded  their  comrades. 

Commander  M.  M.  Frucht,  executive  officer  of  the  Naval  Station,  who 
had  akeady  been  sent  to  Waukegan  by  Commandant  Bassett,  appeared  at 
the  door  and  quieted  the  crowd  with  a  promise  that  all  concerned  would  have 
a  square  deal.    He  also  advised  them  to  return  at  once  to  the  Naval  Station. 

The  pohce  released  the  two  prisoners  and  gave  back  the  flag.  Two  hundred 
provost  guards  from  the  Naval  Station  arrived  in  motor  trucks  while  the  crowd 
was  at  the  pohce  station. 

Waukegan  youths,  evidently  banded  together  for  the  purpose,  searched 
the  house  of  Edward  Dorsey,  Negro,  at  905  Market  Street,  on  the  night  of 
June  5.    Ten  of  them,  ranging  from  seventeen  to  twenty- two  years,  were 


arrested.  They  said  they  had  heard  that  five  white  persons  were  held  prisoners 
in  Dorsey's  home  and  that  it  was  their  intention  to  effect  a  rescue.  It  was 
asserted  that  a  number  of  provost  guards  accompanied  the  crowd  to  the 
Dorsey  house. 

The  general  spirit  of  the  people  of  Waukegan  regarding  Negroes  may  be 
judged  from  a  proclamation  by  Mayor  J.  F.  Bidinger,  in  which  he  disclaimed 
for  the  people  of  the  city  any  intention  to  harass  the  Negro.  Referring  to 
reports  that  some  of  the  white  people  of  the  town  had  participated  in  the 
disturbances,  the  mayor  said:  "In  the  first  they  did  not,  and  in  the  second 
in  no  great  numbers.  Hoodlums  generally  run  true  to  form  and  seldom 
overlook  ready-made  opportunity  to  manifest  their  peculiar  taste  in  deviltry. 
Hence  the  mixing  of  a  few  of  them  into  these  fracases  signifies  nothing  in  so 
far  as  our  general  pubhc  is  concerned." 

Observers  agreed  with  the  mayor  that  the  disturbances  were  not  race 
riots.    In  this  connection  his  proclamation  said: 

Now  it  is  a  definitely  ascertained  fact  that  no  adult  Negro  was  even  remotely 
connected  with  the  first  stone- throwing;  that  the  colored  people  did  not  then  retaliate 
and  have  not  since  sought  to  retaliate  in  even  the  smallest  measure;  and  that  all 
the  episodes  have  consisted  simply  of  an  attack  upon  people  who  have  been  as  inof- 
fensive throughout  the  entire  affair  as  they  could  weU  be.  AU  of  which  I  submit 
stamps  this  afiair  as  an  example  of  disorderly  conduct  indeed,  but  not  as  a  race  riot. 


Sunday  afternoon,  June  20,  1920,  a  small  group  of  Negroes  styling  them- 
selves "Abyssinians"  ended  a  parade  of  their  "order"  in  front  of  a  cafe  at 
209  East  Thirty-fifth  Street  frequented  by  both  whites  and  Negroes.  After 
a  brief  ceremony  one  of  the  leaders  produced  an  American  flag  and  deliberately 
burned  it.  He  then  began  to  destroy  a  second  flag  in  the  same  manner. 
Two  white  policemen  remonstrated  with  the  men  but  were  intimidated  by 
threats  and  a  brandishing  of  revolvers.  They  left  immediately  to  notify 
pohce  headquarters.  Patrolman  Owens,  Negro,  arrived  as  a  second  flag  was 
lighted.  Rushing  up  to  the  leader  who  held  the  burning  flag  in  his  hands 
and  remonstrating  with  the  group  for  their  disloyalty,  he  was  immediately 
shot  and  wounded.  Robert  Lawson  Rose,  a  sailor  on  leave  from  the  Great 
Lakes  Naval  Training  Station,  protested  against  the  destruction  of  the  flag 
and  he  too  was  shot;  he  staggered  into  the  doorway  of  a  cigar  store  at 
207  East  Thirty-fifth  Street.  Some  of  the  parade  leaders  got  rifles  from  a 
closed  automobile  which  had  followed  the  parade  and  was  standing  near  by, 
and  fired  into  the  cigar  store.  One  of  these  bullets  killed  Joseph  Hoyt,  a  clerk 
in  the  store.  The  sailor,  Rose,  also  died  from  his  wound.  In  aU  about  twenty- 
five  shots  were  fired  during  the  fracas,  and  several  persons  were  injured. 

The  men  who  did  the  shooting  escaped  but  were  arrested  later.  Crowds 
attracted  by  the  demonstration  quickly  dispersed  when  the  shooting  began. 


and  from  then  on  there  was  virtually  no  disorder  except  for  attacks  at  a  railroad 
station  on  three  Negro  ministers  who  were  returning  to  the  city  and  knew 
nothing  of  the  shooting.  Nine  Negroes  were  arrested  and  held  to  the  grand 
jury.  One  of  them  was  Grover  Cleveland  Redding,  thirty-seven  or  thirty- 
eight  years  of  age,  who  was  the  "prophet"  of  the  "Abyssinian"  order  in 
Chicago.  Redding,  who  had  admitted  the  shooting  of  Rose,  was  held  with 
Oscar  McGavick  for  murder,  and  the  others  as  accessories  after  the  fact.' 

The  exact  reason  for  this  flag-burning  has  not  been  disclosed,  although 
it  was  apparently  intended  to  symbolize  the  feeling  of  the  "Abyssinian" 
followers  that  it  was  time  to  forswear  allegiance  to  the  American  government 
and  consider  themselves  under  allegiance  to  the  Abyssinian  government. 

The  guns  used  in  the  shooting  were  found  by  the  police  in  a  garage,  together 
with  the  regaUa  of  the  "  Abyssinians, "  and  much  of  their  printed  matter  and 
other  effects.^ 

The  "Abyssinian"  affair  might  easily  have  been  turned  into  another 
great  outbreak  such  as  that  of  July,  1919.  But  the  police,  profiting  by  their 
experience  of  the  previous  year,  were  vigilant.  They  had  organized  an  emer- 
gency force  which  was  quickly  mobilized  and  put  in  service  in  the  district. 
Moreover,  there  was  evident  such  a  feeling  of  restraint  on  the  part  of  both 
whites  and  Negroes  that  they  combined  to  hunt  down  the  offenders. 

Indicative  of  this  spirit  of  co-operation  to  prevent  racial  conflict,  and  helpful 
to  it,  was  the  careful  handling  of  the  matter  by  the  press.  Practically  every 
newspaper  gave  prominence  to  the  way  in  which  the  two  races  worked  together 
to  this  end,  and  all  dwelt  on  the  courageous  action  of  the  Negro  policeman. 
A  picture  printed  in  the  Herald-Examiner  the  following  morning  showed 
people  of  the  two  races  fraternizing  after  the  shooting.  The  Daily  News  in 
reporting  the  affray  said  that  only  the  co-operation  of  the  white  and  Negro 
merchants  of  the  district  stopped  the  disturbance;  that  rowdies  in  the  neighbor- 
hood were  ready  for  a  fight,  but  that  "the  better  class  of  whites  and  Negroes 
worked  directly  with  the  police  to  stop  any  such  trouble  as  a  recurrence  of 
the  rioting  last  summer,  which  occurred  in  the  same  neighborhood." 

To  understand  the  "Abyssinian"  affair  an  acquaintance  with  other 
characters,  certain  group  propaganda  and  movements,  is  necessary.  The 
"  Back  to  Africa  "  movement,  which  lent  fervor  and  enthusiasm  to  the  develop- 
ment of  lawlessness  and  wanton  killing  by  this  group  of  unlettered  Negroes, 
has  been  in  progress  for  more  than  two  years.  The  Black  Star  Steamship 
Line  and  the  Universal  Improvement  Association,  headed  by  a  Negro,  Marcus 
Garvey,  a  British  subject,  were  organized  to  estabhsh  commercial  relations 

'  Redding  had  admitted  having  shot  Rose,  and  evidence  against  others  for  their  paiticipa- 
tion  in  the  killing,  while  not  conclusive,  was  rather  convincing. 

'At  the  trial  of  these  men  six  months  later,  Grover  Cleveland  Redding  and  Oscar 
McGavick  were  sentenced  to  hang  for  the  murder  of  Rose  and  Hoyt.  The  others  held  for 
trial  were  released.    Redding  has  since  been  hanged. 

/  \ 


T  Y 

ETWEE N  THE  -  ^ 


J,  Mi  THE 


///.v  j^'ojrslv  Mi'uclik  SI..  Kbu]  of  Kiiujs  of  Eihiol'la  '' 


--•■Mu-.l  -.'.',  .\.M;--,\?.ai>;i,  Ofcembcf  2;'.  I90o. 
;^^Oi(•uliun  advised  bs  ihr  Scimc  March  !2,  I'W.     ■ 
!{';:i!M;(l  ],^   tin:   ! 'rrsi.lent ,  Mardi  17.  I^IH. 
Kiiis;  oi   i''[ii'':>ia  !!oi.:iu'il  .u   Kauiicution,  ,\ugu-<t  2.  j'>(>s. 

iU    THj-   rKl-SlDi-XT  Ol-   TilK-UKlTED  STATES 


«(  A/HEREAS  y    ;:..iv   sh    (/i'trHiK'tx-i-  hrtw«ii  the  UnJlfd  Smtcs   of 

¥¥   AmeTica    .;'hJ     U;-^    ;\!ajv.^t)-    Menetik   !!..  King    of    Kings    of 

Etl'i!00'3     ''■  :■    >•!!■•.■'.-:..!  !<i'i  iisi-  iui.-iUy- seventh  day  oi    Dertf»»- 

ber   one  i   -i:.,  ;-'  :  :■-,   '•'^:    ::''  .;:'>•  ;'i!o(  ,  slii:  on»;i!):U  ol  \v!"rtch  ttraty. 

being    m    ?'.i,     ;.;.,    <■  -i      ^^     ;     i' 

i;    i  in'Siai;*'-.,  "(;j   H«.irtl  lor  word  as 




with  Africa.  To  arouse  interest  and  secure  funds  for  the  enterprise,  sentiment 
has  been  created  among  Negroes  for  the  developing  of  sections  of  Africa  where 
they  may  govern  themselves  and  build  up  their  own  institutions  and  commerce. 
The  movement  has  gained  thousands  of  adherents;  although  the  language  of 
its  appeals  has  frequently  been  extreme,  it  has  engaged  in  no  dangerous  or 
unpatriotic  activities.  Its  connection  with  the  tragic  incident  lies  in  the 
impUcation  that  "Back  to  Africa"  means  away  from  the  land  of  unfair  treat- 
ment, and  thus  suggests  contempt  for  the  United  States. 

The  "Star  Order  of  Ethiopia  and  Ethiopian  Missionaries  to  Abyssinia" 
appears  to  be  an  illegitimate  offspring  of  the  Universal  Improvement  Associa- 
tion and  the  Black  Star  Steamship  Line.  The  visit  of  the  Abyssinian  Mission 
to  this  country  a  year  ago  to  renew  a  treaty  between  their  country  and  the 
United  States  probably  served  as  an  added  suggestion.  The  leaders  of  the 
movement  were  Redding,  secretary  of  the  order;  Joseph  Fernon,  called 
the  " Great  Abyssinian,"  and  his  son,  "The  Prince."  Together  with  a  "Dr." 
R.  D.  Jonas,  a  white  man  who  for  several  years  has  engaged  in  sundry  activities 
among  Negroes,  they  organized  this  movement  among  a  class  of  Negroes  too 
ignorant  to  exercise  restraint  over  their  racial  resentments. 

Emotionalism  was  aroused  and  a  semi-rehgious  twist  was  given  through 
their  appeals,  which  played  more  or  less  injudiciously  on  the  desire  of  Negroes 
to  improve  their  economic  status  and  to  escape  from  what  some  of  them 
regard  as  oppression,  either  in  this  or  in  other  countries.  One  or  two  other 
similar  organizations  are  making  such  an  appeal,  not  only  to  Negroes  in  this 
country,  but  to  other  dark-skinned  races  throughout  the  world.  It  is  sought 
to  weld  them  aU  together  into  a  great  nation.  Ghttering  promises  are  set 
before  the  illiterate  element  of  the  Negro  race,  which  has  responded  sufficiently 
to  fatten  the  purses  of  some,  at  least,  of  the  "prophets." 

Redding  was  one  of  these  "prophets."  He  was  influenced  by  the  white 
man,  "Dr."  R.  D.  Jonas,  and  had  purchased  from  him  the  robe  or  toga 
which  he  wore  during  the  parade  of  June  20.  According  to  those  who  knew 
both  men,  he  had  first  "stolen  Jonas'  thunder"  and  the  following  out  of  which 
the  "Star  Order  of  Ethiopia"  had  been  manufactured.  Having  lost  this, 
Jonas  was  wilting  to  sell  the  regaUa. 

Jonas,  it  appears,  had  been  promoting  one  movement  after  another  among 
illiterate  Negroes  for  six  or  seven  years.  At  one  time  he  conducted  a 
co-operative  store  on  State  Street,  in  which  he  sold  shares.  He  was  often 
an  orator  at  street  gatherings  and  had  been  arrested  a  number  of  times.  When 
Alexander  Dowie  of  Zion  City  died,  Jonas  is  said  to  have  attempted  to  put 
himself  into  the  vacant  position.  After  the  East  St.  Louis  riots  he  appeared 
in  Chicago  in  an  express  wagon  with  signs  indicating  that  he  was  collecting 
funds  for  the  Negroes  of  East  St.  Louis. 

During  the  afternoon  of  the  shooting,  Jonas  had  been  the  principal  speaker 
at  a  small,  orderly  meeting  of  Negroes  in  Johnson's  Hall,  3516  South  State 


Street,  at  which  he  had  launched  a  campaign  for  Mayor  Thompson  as  a 
third-party  candidate  for  president  of  the  United  States.  The  Mayor,  he 
said,  was  the  only  man  who  could  be  trusted  "to  carry  out  Roosevelt's  work" 
and  put  through  the  treaty  with  Abyssinia  which  expired  in  1917.  He  also 
referred  to  the  efforts  of  the  Jews  to  return  to  Palestine  and  of  the  Irish  to 
free  themselves  from  British  domination,  and  suggested  the  desirability  of  a 
coahtion  of  the  Negro,  Jewish,  and  Irish  races.  Redding's  hold  on  many  of 
the  Negroes  was  partly  due  to  the  fact  that  he  is  a  Negro  and  claims  to  be  a 
native  of  Abyssinia,  whereas  Jonas  is  a  white  man. 

Quite  evidently  the  "Back  to  Abyssinia"  movement  was  used  as  a  means 
for  exploiting  credulous  Negroes.  For  one  dollar  they  coiild  purchase  an 
Abyssinian  flag,  a  small  pamphlet  containing  a  prophecy  relating  to  the  return 
of  the  black-skinned  people  to  Africa,  a  copy  of  a  so-called  treaty  between  the 
United  States  and  Abyssinia,  and  a  picture  of  the  "Prince  of  the  Abyssiaians." 
Likewise  when  the  propaganda  had  begun  to  take  root,  one  might  sign  a  blank 
form  which  would  commit  him  to  return  to  "my  motherland  of  Ethiopia"  in 
order  that  he  might  fiU  any  one  of  forty-four  positions,  such  as  electrical  engineer, 
mechanical  draftsman,  civil  engineer,  architect,  chemist,  sign-painter,  cartoon- 
ist, illustrator,  traffic  manager,  teacher,  auto-repairing,  agriculture,  and 
poultry-raising.    The  blank  itseK  was  headed: 


"APrinceshallcomeout  of  Egypt.    Ethiopia  shall  soon  stretch 
out  her  hands  to  God."— Ps.  68:31. 

This  is  to  certify  that  my  name  was  given  to  Elder  Grover  Redding,  Missionary 
to  Abyssinia,  to  show  to  my  brothers  in  my  motherland  that  I  am  with  them,  heart 
and  soul. 

Oh,  Wonderful  Land,  God  remembers  Thee.  He  shall  dehver  Thee  from  under 
the  heels  of  Thy  Oppressors.  He  remembers  when  Asia  condemned  Him,  and  Europe 
put  Him  to  death,  and  it  was  Africa  who  haven  him  until  King  Herod  was  dead.  It 
was  Africa's  son  who  helped  Bare  his  Cross  up  to  Calvary.  There  was  Africa's  son 
the  Apostle  Phillip  met,  and  he  carried  the  Gospel  to  Thy  land.  It  was  Thee  whose 
Queen  came  to  King  Solomon  to  prove  him  with  hard  questions.  Ethiopia,  Thou 
was  first  on  Earth;  Thou  shall  be  last,  for  Jehova  has  spoken  it.  (See  Scrip:  Zeph. 
3:8,  9,  10;  Isa.  18  Chap.;  Ps.  68:30,  31.) 




This  is  to  certify  that  I  have  signed  my  name  as  an  Ethiopian  in  America  in 
sympathy  with  our  motherland  Ethiopia.  I  henceforth  denounce  the  name  of  Negro 
which  was  given  me  by  another  race. 

At  this  point  the  applicant  declares  himself  ready  at  any  time  needed  to 
fill  any  of  the  positions  in  a  hst  below,  which  he  has  checked  and  which  he  is 


qualified  to  fill.  Blank  space  appears  then  for  name,  address,  present  occupa- 
tion, city,  state,  and  county.  At  the  bottom  appears  the  name  of  George 
Gabriel,  described  as  "Abyssinian"  linguist  and  native  of  Abyssinia,  together 
with  that  of  Grover  C.  Redding,  secretary  and  missionary.  The  applicant 
is  requested  to  mail  the  blank  to  1812  Thirteenth  Street,  Washington,  D.C., 
in  care  of  Mrs.  Dabney,  or  115  W.  138th  Street,  New  York  City,  care  of  Charles 
Manson,  or  Joseph  Goldberg,  Jaffa,  Palestine. 

The  immediate  inspiration  of  the  Abyssinians,  as  previously  suggested, 
was  a  visit  to  this  country,  more  than  a  year  before,  of  a  delegation  from 
Abyssinia,  which  had  concerned  itself  with  a  renewal  of  the  old  treaty.  It  is 
pointed  out  that  the  chief  reason  why  Negroes  should  be  interested  in  this 
treaty  is  that  they  might  use  it  to  overthrow  "Jim  Crow"  laws  in  certain 
states.  Under  this  treaty  Abyssinians  had  been  guaranteed  the  right  to 
travel  at  will  in  the  United  States  under  the  protection  of  the  federal  govern- 
ment. Men  like  Redding  had  evidently  interpreted  this  to  mean  that  under 
such  a  treaty  the  United  States  would  be  bound  to  interfere  in  behalf  of  Abys- 
sinians, if  they  should  be  discriminated  against  under  a  "Jim  Crow"  law. 

Redding,  however,  had  some  sort  of  biblical  interpretation  for  his  move- 
ment. He  maintained  that  his  mission  was  indicated  in  the  Bible.  He 
quoted  from  the  Scriptures  these  words:  "So  shaU  the  King  of  Assyria  lead 
away  the  Egyptian  prisoners,  the  Ethiopian  captives,  young  and  old,  to  the 
shame  of  Egj^t."  Asserting  that  the  Ethiopians  do  not  belong  here,  and  that 
they  should  be  taken  back  to  their  own  country,  he  construed  a  bibhcal  passage 
as  meaning  that  the  time  of  their  bondage  in  a  foreign  country  should  be  the 
expiration  of  a  300-year  period.  This  period,  he  said,  began  in  1619,  when 
Negroes  were  first  taken  for  piurposes  of  slavery  from  Africa  to  America.  He 
said  that  the  burning  of  the  flag  was  the  symbol  indicated  to  him  through  these 
biblical  passages,  and  the  sign  that  Abyssinians  should  no  longer  stay  in  this 

As  to  the  flag  of  Abyssinia,  he  had  interpreted  it  thus:  "The  red  means 
the  blood  of  Christ;  the  green,  the  grass  on  which  he  knelt  for  you  and  me; 
the  yellow  for  the  clay.  The  Ethiopian  flag  is  better  known  as  'Calvary's 

Jonas,  from  whom  Redding  had  obtained  these  ideas  of  a  Negro  Utopia 
in  Africa,  claimed  that  he  had  introduced  to  President  Wilson  the  Abyssinian 
delegation  which  had  come  to  this  country.  He  claimed  the  credit  for  having 
taken  Redding  into  his  home  and  cared  for  him  several  years  ago  at  the  behest 
of  Mrs.  Jonas,  who  had  told  him  that  hewas  a  "smart  young  fellow." 

The  ceremonies  and  manifestations  of  the  "Abyssinians"  were  marked  by 
such  fanaticism  that  responsible  Negroes  repudiated  them  and  condemned 
the  leaders  along  with  other  criminals  and  exploiters  of  the  ignorant  Negroes. 
The  Negro  World,  organ  of  the  Universal  Improvement  Association  and  Black 
Star  Line,  carried  the  following  article. 


Appalled  by  the  violence  aroused  on  Sunday  night,  when  an  American  flag  was 
burned  and  two  men  were  killed  by  the  Abyssinian  zealots,  colored  leaders  of  the 
Middle  West  have  begun  a  systematic  campaign  to  eliminate  white  exploitation  among 
the  Negroes  and  to  bring  about  better  racial  co-operation. 

The  Chicago  police  annoimced  today  that  all  the  men  wanted  in  the  case,  except 
two,  are  under  arrest.  They  also  promised  that  the  career  of  Grover  Cleveland 
Redding,  self-styled  "Prince  of  Abyssinia,"  and  identified  as  a  ringleader  in  the 
affair,  wUl  enter  a  new  phase  tomorrow  when  the  frock-coated  suspect  is  formally 
charged  with  murder,  accessory  to  murder  and  rioting. 

Oscar  McGavick,  one  of  the  men  sought,  was  arrested  in  Pittsburgh  today. 
"BUI"  Briggs  and  Frank  Heans  were  taken  into  custody  here.  This  leaves  the  police 
list  with  only  two  names,  the  Femons,  father  and  son.  "Dr."  R.  D.  Jonas,  known  on 
the  South  Side  as  a  professional  agitator,  was  released  today,  no  evidence  having  been 
found  of  his  direct  connection  with  the  shooting.    Federal  officials  are  investigating  him . 

According  to  the  opinions  of  some  of  the  leaders  among  Chicago  Negroes  the 
"Abyssinian  movement,"  from  which  Simday  m'ght's  trouble  indirectly  resulted,  is  a 
legitimate  and  valid  enterprise.  It  is  but  one  of  the  manifestations  of  that  bubbling 
activity  which  today  characterizes  the  colored  people  of  America  in  their  struggle  for 
race  progression. 

The  trouble  lies,  they  claim,  in  a  group  of  exploiters  and  mountebanks,  who, 
imauthorized  by  real  leaders  in  the  movement,  have  seized  upon  it  as  a  meditun  for  per- 
sonal gain.    In  Chicago  two  of  these  were  Jonas  and  Redding,  it  is  claimed. 

Pertinent  on  this  point  also  is  the  stand  taken  by  the  Chicago  Defender, 
among  the  most  influential  of  the  Negro  publications,  concerning  the  Abys- 
sinians,  which  said  editorially: 

We  warn  all  agitators,  whether  they  be  white  or  black,  that  this  paper,  standing  as 
it  does  for  law  and  order,  for  justice  to  aU  men,  for  that  brotherhood  without  which  no 
coimtry  can  long  prosper,  and  for  the  better  element  of  our  twelve  nuUions,  that  we 
condemn  their  disloyalty  and  will  do  all  in  ovir  power  to  aid  the  constituted  authorities 
in  crushing  them. 

The  burning  of  the  American  flag  by  a  group  of  self-styled  Abyssinians  at  3Sth  St. 
and  Indiana  Avenue  last  Simday  evening,  as  a  means  of  showing  their  contempt 
for  the  United  States,  and  the  resultant  murders  that  followed  in  the  wake  of  this 
demonstration,  instead  of  accomplishing  the  end  desired  by  these  malcontents,  acted 
as  a  boomerang.  Every  black  face  portrayed  indignation.  Every  black  arm  was 
lifted  to  strike  a  blow  at  these  law-breakers.  This  is  our  home,  our  country,  our  flag, 
for  whose  honor  and  protection  we  will  give  our  last  drop  of  blood.  With  all  our 
shortcomings  it  can  never  truthfully  be  said  that  we  are  disloyal  or  impatriotic. 

The  real  problem  indicated  by  the  "Abyssinian"  affair  is  how  to  prevent 
self-seekers  from  playing  upon  the  superstitions  and  emotions  of  ignorant 
Negroes,  to  the  harm  of  others  and  the  disturbance  of  the  peace. 


The  murder  of  a  white  man,  Thomas  J.  Barrett,  by  a  Negro  on  September 
20,  1920,  is  not  particularly  significant  in  itself.    But  it  was  committed  in 


the  heart  of  the  district  where  some  of  the  worst  rioting  took  place  in  1919, 
it  created  a  situation  which  might  easily  have  developed  into  another  serious 
riot,  and  it  affords  an  example  of  prompt  and  effective  police  handling. 

Forty-seventh  and  Halsted  streets  is  the  intersection  of  two  main  thorough- 
fares used  by  Negroes  returning  home  from  work  in  the  Stock  Yards.  The 
neighborhood  is  one  where  gangs  of  hoodlums  have  attacked  Negroes,  and  is 
thickly  settled  with  people  who  have  shown  considerable  antagonism  toward 

Barrett,  who  was  a  motorman  on  the  Chicago  surface  lines,  was  kiUed 
shortly  after  seven  o'clock  in  the  evening.  He  had  had  his  shoes  shined  at 
the  stand  of  William  Sianis,  4720  South  Halsted  Street,  and  had  purchased 
a  newspaper  at  Halsted  and  Forty-seventh  streets  at  about  7:00  p.m.  About 
the  same  time  three  Negroes  came  out  of  the  yards  of  Ready  &  Callaghan 
on  Halsted  Street  between  Forty-sixth  and  Forty-seventh,  and  one  of  these 
Negroes  went  to  the  news  stand  seeking  a  newspaper  in  which  to  roll  up  his 
overalls.  In  an  encounter  with  these  Negroes,  Barrett  was  fatally  stabbed, 
dying  before  he  reached  a  hospital.  His  head  was  nearly  severed  from  his 

The  Negroes,  pursued  by  a  rapidly  increasing  crowd  of  whites,  ran  north 
nearly  a  block  on  Halsted  Street.  They  turned  into  a  vacant  lot  and  went 
through  alleys  until  they  emerged  on  Forty-fifth  Street  near  Emerald  Avenue, 
evidently  trying  to  work  their  way  east  to  the  main  Negro  neighborhood. 
The  crowd,  however,  had  thickened  so  rapidly  that  they  took  refuge  in  St. 
Gabriel's  Catholic  Church,  just  east  of  Lowe  Avenue. 

The  mob  was  checked  by  the  appearance  and  quieting  remarks  of  Father 
Thomas  M.  Burke,  pastor  of  the  church.  He  told  them  that  the  Negroes  had 
sought  sanctuary,  that  there  were  laws  to  punish  them,  and  that  it  was  not 
the  province  of  a  mob  to  wreak  summary  vengeance. 

Meanwhile  the  police  were  already  arriving.  A  patrol  wagon  had  left 
the  Stock  Yards  station  about  seven  o'clock,  and  followed  the  pursuing  crowd. 
Acting  Lieutenant  BuUard  telephoned  at  once  to  Chief  Garrity,  and  extra 
police  were  quickly  thrown  into  the  neighborhood  to  control  the  crowd. 

Samuel  C.  Rank,  lieutenant  of  poUce  at  the  Thirteenth  Precinct  station, 
Forty-seventh  Place  and  Halsted  Street,  had  received  the  alarm  about  seven 
o'clock.  He  sent  five  detectives  and  followed  shortly  after  to  the  scene  of 
the  disturbance.  He  went  into  the  church  with  Sergeant  Brown  and  three 
detectives.  Lieutenant  Rank  forced  a  number  of  the  mob  to  leave  the  church 
and  locked  the  doors.  Captain  Hogan,  of  the  Tenth  Police  Precinct,  and 
Chief  Garrity  arrived  about  this  time.  The  three  Negroes  were  taken  through 
a  rear  entrance  to  a  patrol  wagon  in  the  aUey  and  removed  to  the  Hyde  Park 
police  station,  a  considerable  distance  away. 

The  crowd  in  front  of  the  church  had  grown  by  this  time  to  3,000  or  4,000. 
In  order  to  quiet  them  they  were  again  addressed  by  Father  Burke,  who  told 


them  the  Negroes  had  been  removed  from  the  church.  They  dispersed 
about  10:30  P.M. 

Profiting  by  the  experience  of  1919  Chief  Garrity  made  prompt  use  of 
prearranged  plans  to  check  all  such  disorders  in  their  incipiency.  He  immedi- 
ately closed  saloons  and  "clubs"  in  which  young  hoodlums  were  accustomed 
to  gather.  He  had  the  police  patrol  the  streets  by  twos.  He  drew  a  "dead 
line"  to  prevent  Negroes  from  entering  the  district.  With  his  forces  well 
organized  and  distributed,  he  set  up  headquarters  at  the  Stock  Yards  Precinct 
station  and  spent  the  night  there,  with  Captain  Westbrook,  commander  of 
the  second  battalion  of  police,  Captain  Hogan,  and  Lieutenant  Ira  McDormell, 
of  the  Desplaines  Street  station.  Street  cars  and  automobiles  approaching 
the  police  "dead  line"  were  stopped  and  all  Negro  passengers  warned  off. 
Street  gatherings  were  broken  up  and  people  were  searched  for  weapons. 
People  were  also  kept  moving  in  the  streets.  This  display  of  force  undoubtedly 
had  its  quietiag  effect.  Nevertheless,  a  stray  Negro  was  here  and  there 
attacked  despite  the  vigilance  of  the  police. 

During  the  five  or  six  hours  followiag  the  murder,  racial  street  fights 
occurred  at  Forty-fifth  Street  and  Wabash  Avenue.  A  mob  stormed  a  house 
at  229  East  Forty-fifth  Street,  attempted  to  burn  it  and  did  considerable 
damage.  Frank  Gavin,  a  white  man,  1509  Marquette  Road,  was  shot  in  the 
back  during  the  mobbing  of  a  Negro  at  Fifty-third  Street  and  Raciae  Avenue. 
Hoodlimis  pulled  Negroes  from  street  cars  and  beat  them.  A  Negro  who  had 
been  dragged  from  a  car  at  Thirty-ninth  and  Emerald  Avenue,  was  rescued  by 
several  white  women  after  he  had  been  severely  beaten  with  clubs.  A  man 
and  a  small  boy,  Negroes,  were  attacked  by  a  gang  at  Fuller  Park,  Forty-fifth 
Street  and  Shields  Avenue.  At  Forty-seventh  and  Halsted  streets  three 
Negroes  were  taken  from  a  car  and  slugged,  and  two  others  had  a  similar 
experience  at  Forty-Seventh  Street  and  Union  Avenue.  Frank  Stevens,  a 
white  man,  3738  Langley  Avenue,  was  badly  injured  by  a  crowd  of  Negroes 
at  Thirty-ninth  Street  and  Normal  Avenue. 

Precautions  were  continued  next  day  for  the  protection  of  Negroes  working 
in  the  Stock  Yards,  and  frequenting  the  district  where  the  disorders  had 
occurred.  This  district  ran  as  far  west  as  Racine  Avenue  and  as  far  east  as 
Prairie;  as  far  north  as  Thirty-second  Street  and  as  far  south  as  Fifty-third 
Street.  Negroes  working  at  the  Stock  Yards  had  police  escorts  to  and  from 
their  work,  and  the  car  lines  on  Halsted  and  Forty-seventh  and  Thirty-fifth 
streets,  and  on  Racine  Avenue,  which  are  much  used  by  the  Negroes,  were 
especially  guarded.  Only  one  clash  was  recorded  the  foUowing  day.  By 
six  o'clock  Wednesday  morning,  thirty-seven  hours  after  the  murder,  the 
special  police  concentration  was  discontinued. 

Nine  persons  in  all  were  reported  injured  during  this  disturbance.  Nine 
men  were  arrested,  including  the  three  Negroes  whom  Barrett  had  encountered. 
These  three  were:    Samuel  Hayes,  forty  years  old,  519  East  Thirty-fifth 


Street;  Henry  Snow,  thirty- two  years  old,  517  East  Thirty-fifth  Street; 
and  Frank  Gatewood,  forty-three  years  old,  3446  Prairie  Avenue. 

Witnesses  at  the  inquest  differed  as  to  whether  there  was  any  provocation 
for  the  stabbing  of  Barrett.  Only  one  of  them  testified  that  he  heard  any  of 
the  four  persons  say  anything.  This  was  Carl  Duwell,  a  printer,  466  West 
Twenty-fourth  Place,  who  had  just  alighted  from  a  Halsted  Street  car.  He 
said  that  Barrett  was  following  the  three  colored  men  and  seemed  to  be  threat- 
ening them,  saying  "  You  want  to  fight  ?  "  One  of  the  Negroes  suddenly  turned 
and  struck  at  Barrett,  slashing  his  throat.  The  Negroes  had  been  walking  fast, 
with  Barrett  following  a  few  feet  behind  them.  After  he  was  struck,  Barrett 
staggered  a  few  feet  to  the  curb  and  fell. 

Barrett's  widow  said  he  was  not  in  the  habit  of  carrying  weapons,  but  it 
was  current  talk  that  he  had  been  arrested  a  number  of  times  for  street  fights 
with  Negroes.  He  had  been  a  policeman  in  the  service  of  the  South  Park 
Conamission,  and  was  an  ex-soldier.  WiUiam  Sianis,  at  whose  stand  Barrett 
had  his  shoes  shined  just  before  the  murder,  said  that  Barrett  was  apparently 
sober.  Neighborhood  gossip  was  to  the  effect  that  Barrett  had  been  drinking 
at  McNally's  saloon  at  Forty-seventh  and  Halsted  streets.  Also  DuweU's 
testimony  indicated  that  Barrett  had  been  drinking. 

According  to  Police  Captain  Hogan,  when  the  Negroes  were  arrested  in 
the  church,  knives  were  found  on  the  persons  of  two  of  them.  One  of  these, 
Sam  Hayes,  admitted  to  the  police  at  that  time  that  he  had  stabbed  a  white 
man  at  Forty-seventh  and  Halsted  streets.  His  story  was  that  when  he  asked 
the  newsboy  at  the  comer  for  a  newspaper  in  which  to  wrap  his  overalls, 
Barrett  threatened  him  and  then  struck  him,  and  the  stabbing  followed. 

During  the  night  foUowing  the  murder.  Chief  of  Police  Garrity  issued  a 
statement  which  was  published  conspicuously  in  the  morning  newspapers, 
and  was  most  effectively  worded  to  prevent  misunderstanding  of  the  incident 
and  avert  use  of  it  to  inflame  racial  hostility.    The  statement  began: 

There  has  been  no  race  riot.  The  killing  at  Forty-seventh  and  Halsted  streets 
was  merely  a  street-comer  fight.  There  was  grave  danger  that  it  would  be  followed 
by  serious  trouble.  Precautionary  measures  were  taken  at  once  to  forestall  the  recur- 
rence of  the  riots,  with  the  destruction  of  life  and  property,  of  last  summer. 

This  was  followed  by  a  detailed  account  of  the  special  measures  and 
distribution  of  police  to  handle  the  situation. 

II.  The  Springfield  Riot 
August  14-15,  1908 
The  race  riot  at  Springfield,  Illinois,  in  August,  1908,  which  cost  the  lives 
of  two  Negroes  and  four  white  men,  is  an  outstanding  example  of  the  racial 
bitterness  and  brutality  that  can  be  provoked  by  unsubstantiated  rumor  or, 
as  in  this  case,  by  deliberate  falsehood.  The  two  Negro  victims  were  innocent 
and  imoffending.    They  were  lynched  under  the  shadow  of  the  capitol  of 


Lincoln's  state,  within  half  a  mile  of  the  only  home  he  ever  owned,  and  two 
miles  from  the  monument  which  marks  the  grave  of  the  great  emancipator. 

A  second  fundamental  factor  in  the  Springfield  riot  situation  was  the 
fertile  field  prepared  by  admittedly  lax  law  enforcement  and  by  tolerance  in 
the  community  of  vicious  conditions,  the  worst  of  which  were  permitted  to 
surround  the  Negro  areas. 

The  spark  which  touched  off  the  explosion  was  the  old  story  of  the  violation 
of  a  white  woman  by  a  Negro,  and  not  until  the  damage  had  been  done  was 
its  falsity  confessed  by  the  woman  who  had  told  it. 

On  the  night  of  Friday,  August  14,  1908,  according  to  her  story,  Mrs. 
H — ,  wife  of  a  street-railway  conductor,  was  asleep  in  her  room.  She  was 
alone  in  the  house.  She  declared  that  a  Negro  entered,  dragged  her  from  her 
bed  to  the  back  yard,  and  there  committed  the  crime.  She  said  she  had 
attempted  to  scream  but  was  choked  by  her  assailant,  who  left  her  lying  uncon- 
scious in  the  garden. 

A  Negro,  George  Richardson,  who  had  been  at  work  on  a  neighboring 
lawn  the  day  before  the  attack,  was  accused  by  Mrs.  H —  and  was  arrested 
when  he  returned  to  work  the  next  morning.  He  was  placed  in  the  county 
jail  and  on  August  19  he  was  indicted. 

During  inquiry  by  a  special  grand  jury  certain  facts  were  disclosed  concern- 
ing Mrs.  H — 's  character,  and  she  admitted  that,  though  she  had  been 
brutally  beaten  by  a  white  man  on  the  night  indicated,  Richardson  was  not 
present  and  had  no  connection  with  the  affair.  She  admitted  that  she  had 
not  been  raped.  For  reasons  known  only  to  herself,  she  wished  to  keep  the 
name  of  the  real  assailant  a  secret,  and  therefore  she  had  accused  Richardson. 
She  signed  an  affidavit  exonerating  him.  Richardson  had  no  criminal  record. 
He  and  two  of  his  family  were  property  owners  in  Springfield. 

While  Richardson  was  in  custody  and  before  he  was  exonerated,  feeling 
against  him  was  intensified  because  of  the  murder,  three  or  four  weeks  before, 
of  Clergy  A.  Ballard,  a  white  man,  by  Joe  James,  a  Negro  tramp,  who  was  a 
drug  and  whiskey  addict.  James  had  been  taken  from  a  freight  train  and  placed 
in  jaU  for  thirty  days  and  had  been  released  on  the  night  of  the  crime.  He 
was  charged  with  entering  the  room  of  Ballard's  daughter,  Blanche,  at 
night.  Ballard  grappled  with  him,  but  James  broke  away  and  ran.  In  the 
struggle  BaUard  was  mortally  injured.  James  was  found  asleep  in  a  park 
near  the  Ballard  home  about  noon  the  next  day,  under  the  influence  of  a 
drug.  He  was  tried  and  hanged,  and  his  body  was  taken  back  to  Mississippi 
by  his  mother  for  interment. "  Rev.  Mr.  Dawson,  spiritual  adviser  of  James, 
stated  that  James  declared  he  had  no  knowledge  of  the  crime. 

Springfield  was,  therefore,  in  a  receptive  mood  when,  on  the  morning  of 
Friday,  August  15,  it  got  the  first  rumors  concerning  the  attack  on  Mrs.  H — . 
Richardson  had  been  taken  before  her  and  partially  identified.  In  the  after- 
noon, when  it  became  known  that  he  had  been  arrested,  crowds  gathered 


about  the  jail.  They  seemed  good-natured  rather  than  blood-thirsty.  It 
was  also  known  that  James,  accused  of  the  Ballard  murder,  occupied  a  ceU  in 
the  jail.  The  sheriff  preserved  order  through  the  afternoon,  no  effort  being 
made  to  disperse  the  crowd  of  300  or  400  persons.  About  five  o'clock  Richardson 
and  James  were  taken  in  an  automobile  to  Sherman,  north  of  Springfield,  and 
there  they  were  transferred  by  train  to  Bloomington. 

About  7:00  P.M.  leadership  began  to  develop  in  the  mob  about  the  jaU. 
The  leaders  demanded  the  two  Negroes,  but  were  finally  convinced  by  the 
sheriff  that  they  were  not  in  the  jail.  Then  the  story  spread  that  Harry 
Loper,  a  restaurant  keeper,  had  provided  the  automobile  in  which  the  men  had 
been  removed.  The  crowd  rushed  to  the  restaurant  five  blocks  away.  In 
response  to  the  mob's  hootings  Loper  appeared  in  the  doorway  with  a  firearm 
in  his  hand.  About  8:30  p.m.  someone  threw  a  brick  through  a  plate-glass 
window  and  in  a  few  minutes  the  front  of  the  restaurant  had  been  smashed 
out.  Then  followed  the  complete  wrecking  of  the  restaurant,  as  well  as  the 
owner's  automobile,  which  had  been  standing  in  front. 

When  the  mob  began  to  surge  through  the  town  the  Fire  Department  was 
called  to  disperse  it,  but  the  mob  cut  the  hose.  Control  having  been  lost 
by  the  sheriff  and  police.  Governor  Deneen  called  out  the  militia.  The  mob, 
by  this  time  very  much  excited,  started  for  the  Negro  district  through  Washiag- 
ton  Street,  along  which  a  large  number  of  Negroes  lived  on  upper  floors. 
Raiding  second-hand  stores  which  belonged  to  white  men,  the  mob  secured 
guns,  axes,  and  other  weapons  with  which  it  destroyed  places  of  business 
operated  by  Negroes  and  drove  out  all  of  the  Negro  residents  from  Washington 
Street.    Then  it  turned  north  into  Ninth  Street. 

At  the  northeast  corner  of  Ninth  and  Jefferson  streets  was  the  frame 
barber  shop  of  Scott  Burton,  a  Negro.  The  mob  set  fire  to  this  building. 
From  that  point  it  went  a  block  farther  north  to  Madison  Street  and  then  turned 
east  and  began  firing  aU  the  shacks  in  which  Negroes  and  whites  lived  in  that 

Burton,  the  first  victim  of  the  mob's  violence,  was  lynched  in  the  yard 
back  of  his  shop.  The  mob  tied  a  rope  around  his  neck  and  dragged  him 
through  the  streets.  An  effort  was  then  made  to  burn  the  body,  which  had 
been  hung  to  a  tree.    This  was  at  two  o'clock  in  the  morning. 

About  this  time  a  company  of  militia  arrived  from  Decatur,  Illinois, 
and  proceeded  through  Madison  Street  to  Twelfth  Street,  where  the  mob  was 
engaged  in  mutilating  Burton's  body,  riddling  it  with  bullets.  The  mob  was 
twice  ordered  to  disperse,  and  the  miUtia  fired  in  the  air  twice.  The  third 
time  the  troops  fired  into  the  ankles  and  legs  of  the  mob.  At  least  two  of  the 
men  in  the  mob  were  wounded  and  the  mob  quickly  gave  way. 

By  this  time  the  Negroes  were  badly  frightened  and  began  leaving  town. 
Meanwhile,  Governor  Deneen  had  sent  for  more  troops,  including  two  regi- 
ments from  Chicago.    Before  the  rioting  ended  5,000  militiamen  were  patrolling 


the  streets  of  Springfield.  On  Saturday  morning  the  militia  began  to  arrive 
in  force,  including  detachments  from  Chicago.  This  was  a  comparatively 
quiet  day,  but  that  night  another  Negro  was  l3Tiched  within  a  block  of  the 
State  House.  The  mob  gathered  on  the  Court  House  Square  and  marched 
south  on  Fifth  Street  to  Monroe,  west  on  Monroe  to  Spring,  and  south  on 
Spring  to  Edwards.  At  the  southeast  comer  of  Spring  and  Edwards  streets 
a  Negro  named  Donegan  and  his  family  had  lived  for  many  years.  Donegan 
was  eighty-four  years  old  and  owned  the  half-block  of  groimd  where  he  lived. 
He  was  found  sleeping  in  his  own  yard  and  was  quickly  stnmg  up  to  a  tree 
across  the  street.  Then  his  throat  was  cut  and  his  body  mutilated.  The 
troops  interfered  at  this  point  and  cut  down  the  man,  taking  him  in  an  ambu- 
lance to  the  hospital,  where  he  died  the  following  morning.  Donegan's  only 
offense  seems  to  have  been  that  he  had  had  a  white  wife  for  more  than  thirty 
years.  He  bore  a  good  reputation,  and  the  mob  had  found  no  reason  for  lynch- 
ing him. 

Abe  Rajoner,  who  was  supposed  to  have  been  the  leader  of  the  mob, 
was  charged  with  the  murder  of  Donegan,  but  was  released. 

As  an  example  of  the  disorder  which  occurred  Friday  evening,  it  is  narrated 
that  Eugene  W.  Chafin,  Prohibition  candidate  for  the  presidency,  was  dehvering 
an  address  on  the  east  side  of  the  public  square.  A  Negro  pursued  by  the  mob 
ran  toward  the  speaker's  stand  from  Fifth  and  Washington  streets,  where  he 
had  been  pulled  from  a  street  car.  Two  men  helped  him  to  the  speaker's 
stand,  while  Chafin  at  the  front  of  the  platform  threatened  to  shoot  into  the 
crowd.  Although  he  had  no  revolver  he  made  a  motion  toward  his  hip  pocket. 
During  the  mSlee  before  gaining  the  platform  the  Negro  drew  a  knife  from  his 
pocket  and  slashed  several  white  men.  When  he  had  escaped  from  the  rear 
of  the  platform,  missiles  flew  in  the  direction  of  Mr.  Chafin,  one  of  them  hitting 
him  on  the  head. 

Four  men  were  rounded  up  who  had  been  blacked  up  to  resemble  Negroes 
and  had  been  firing  on  soldiers  during  the  night  in  an  effort  to  substantiate 
the  assertion  that  the  Negroes  did  not  welcome  the  soldiers. 

Simday  was  quiet.  No  effort  was  made  to  reorganize  the  mob.  The 
whole  city  was  as  if  imder  martial  law.  The  saloons  were  shut  and  every  place 
of  business  was  closed  at  9:00  p.m. 

The  people  who  took  part  in  the  mob  violence  had  no  grievances  against 
the  Negroes.  They  were  hoodlums  and  imderworld  folk.  Many  of  the 
hoodlums,  according  to  one  observer,  were  less  than  twenty  years  old. 

During  the  rioting  four  white  men  were  killed.  They  were:  Louis  Johnson, 
of  1208  East  Reynolds  Street,  whose  body  was  found  at  the  foot  of  the  stairs 
leading  to  the  barroom  in  Loper's  restaurant.  He  was  shot  through  the 
abdomen;  John  Colwell,  of  1517  Matheny  Street,  who  died  at  St.  John's 
Hospital;  J.  W.  Scott,  of  125  East  Adams  Street,  who  was  shot  in  the  lungs; 
Frank  Delmore,  who  was  killed  by  a  stray  bullet. 


Seventy-nine  persons  were  injured.  The  property  destroyed  included 
Loper's  restaurant  and  automobile,  Scott  Burton's  barber  shop,  the  Delmonico 
saloon,  and  one  block  of  houses  between  Tenth  and  Eleventh  streets,  which  were 
burned,  with  all  their  contents.  Scores  of  families  were  left  destitute.  Many 
Negroes  were  severely  beaten  before  they  were  able  to  escape  from  the  district. 
Numbers  of  these  homeless  colored  people  swarmed  to  neighboring  towns  and 
to  Chicago.  Three  thousand  of  them  were  concentrated  at  Camp  Lincoln, 
the  National  Guard  camp  grounds.  Some  of  the  refugees  were  cared  for  at 
the  arsenal. 

Current  comment  concerning  the  riots  suggested  political  corruption  and 
laxity  of  law  enforcement  as  important  underlying  causes  of  the  riots.  An  as- 
sistant state's  attorney  in  Springfield  charged  that  saloons  had  long  been  vio- 
lating the  law,  and  that  the  law  was  not  generally  enforced  as  it  ought  to  be.  He 
cited  these  conditions  as  responsible  in  large  measure  for  the  rioting  and  mur- 
ders. Pastors  in  their  sermons  on  the  riot  focused  attention  on  the  way  in  which 
vicious  elements  were  permitted  to  flout  the  law  with  impunity.  This  comment 
came  so  generally  and  insistently  from  those  conversant  with  the  situation 
that  the  Chicago  Daily  News  was  led  to  remark  editorially  upon  the  responsi- 
bility of  the  public  authorities  of  Springfield.    It  said: 

Vice  and  other  forms  of  law  breaking  have  been  given  wide  latitude  here.  The 
notoriety  of  Springfield's  evil  resorts  has  been  widespread. 

A  mob  which  murders,  bums  and  loots,  is  a  highly  undesirable  substitute  even 
for  a  complacent  city  administration.  It  is  a  logical  result,  however,  of  long  temporiz- 
ing with  vice  and  harboring  of  the  vicious.  When  a  mob  begins  to  shoot  and  hang, 
to  destroy  and  pillage,  there  is  instant  recognition  on  the  part  of  responsible  persons 
of  the  beauty  of  law  enforcement  and  of  general  orderliness. 

On  the  Sunday  following  the  riots  some  Springfield  saloon-keepers  took 
advantage  of  the  fact  that  large  crowds  of  sight-seers  had  come  to  town  to 
open  their  places,  in  violation  of  the  order  by  Mayor  Reece  to  remain  closed. 
Some  of  them  were  arrested  for  defiance  of  the  mayor's  proclamation  to  remain 
closed  until  order  had  been  restored. 

By  Monday  or  Tuesday  order  was  pretty  well  restored  in  Springfield. 
Some  of  the  National  Guard  troops  were  kept  on  duty  for  several  days.  Almost 
100  arrests  were  made,  and  a  special  grand  jury  returned  more  than  fifty 

III.    East  St.  Louis  Riots 
May  28  and  July  2,  1917 

Following  a  period  of  bitter  racial  feeling,  frequently  marked  by  open 
friction,  a  clash  between  whites  and  Negroes  in  East  St.  Louis,  Illinois,  occurred 
on  May  28, 1917,  in  which,  following  rumors  that  a  white  man  had  been  killed 
by  Negroes,  a  number  of  Negroes  were  beaten  by  a  mob  of  white  men.  This 
outbreak  was  the  forerunner  of  a  much  more  serious  riot  on  July  2,  in  which 


at  least  thirty-nine  Negroes  and  eight  white  people  were  killed,  much  property 
was  destroyed  by  fire,  and  the  local  authorities  proved  so  ineffective  and 
demoralized  that  the  state  militia  was  required  to  restore  order.  A  Congres- 
sional Committee  investigated  the  facts  of  the  riot  and  the  underlying  condi- 
tions, which  included  industrial  disturbances  and  shameful  corruption  in 
local  government.^ 

The  coroner  of  St.  Clair  County  in  which  East  St.  Louis  is  situated,  held 
thirty-eight  inquests,  as  a  result  of  which  it  was  found  that  twenty-six  of  these 
deaths  had  been  due  to  gun-shot  wounds,  four  to  drowning,  four  to  bums, 
two  to  fractured  skulls,  one  to  hemorrhage  of  the  brain,  and  one  to  pneumonia 
after  a  fracture  of  the  thyroid  cartilage.  Hundreds  of  persons  were  estimated 
to  have  been  more  or  less  seriously  injured,  seventy  having  been  treated  in  St. 
Mary's  Hospital.  It  has  been  impossible  to  get  an  accxirate  accounting  of  the 
deaths  and  injiuries.  One  man  who  had  taken  a  deep  interest  in  the  situation  es- 
timated that  from  200  to  300  Negroes  were  killed. 

About  200  people  were  arrested.  Some  of  these  were  released,  some  were 
charged  with  rioting  and  conspiracy,  and  others  with  arson.  Two  white  women 
were  tried  for  conspiracy  and  rioting,  and  fined  $50.00.  Ten  Negroes  were 
convicted  of  rioting  and  murder.  Indictments  of  104  white  persons  grew  out 
of  the  immediate  activities  of  the  rioters.  Three  policemen  were  among  those 
indicted  for  murder  in  connection  with  firing  upon  Negro  bystanders.  In 
this  same  group  of  assailants  were  seven  soldiers  who  were  court-martialed. 
No  finding  in  their  cases  has  been  announced.  Three  white  men  were  indicted 
for  murder  in  connection  with  a  raid  upon  a  street-car  load  of  Negro  passengers 
in  which  a  father  and  son  were  killed,  a  mother  was  wounded  severely,  and  a 
little  daughter  escaped.  Twenty-sis  men,  two  of  them  Negroes,  were  indicted 
for  arson. 

The  effort  to  bring  the  guilty  to  justice  was  commented  upon  and  sum- 
marized by  this  Congressional  Committee  as  follows : 

Assistant  Attorney  General  Middlekauf  had  active  charge  of  the  prosecutions 
growing  out  of  the  riot,  and  he  showed  neither  fear  nor  favor.  Capable,  determined, 
and  courageous,  he  allowed  neither  poHtical  influence  nor  personal  appeals  to  swerve 
him  from  the  strict  line  of  duty. 

As  a  result  of  these  prosecutions  by  the  attomey  general's  office  11  Negroes  and 
8  white  men  are  in  the  State  penitentiary,  2  additional  white  men  have  been  sentenced 
to  prison  terms,  14  white  men  have  been  given  jail  sentences,  27  white  men,  including 
the  former  night  chief  of  police  and  three  policemen,  have  pleaded  guilty  to  rioting 
and  have  been  punished. 

'  This  statement  is  based  mainly  upon  the  report  of  this  special  committee  appointed 
by  Congress  to  investigate  the  East  St.  Louis  riots  and  upon  the  stenographic  report  of  the 
testunony  taken  by  it.  This  testimony,  comprising  6,000  tjrpewritten  pages,  was  placed  at 
the  disposal  of  the  Commission  through  the  courtesy  of  the  chairman  of  the  Committee, 
Representative  Ben  Johnson,  of  Kentucky,  and  the  interest  and  co-operation  of  Representative 
James  R.  Mann,  of  Illinois. 


These  convictions  were  obtained  in  the  face  of  organized,  determined  effort , 
backed  with  abundant  funds,  to  head  off  the  prosecutions  and  convictions.  In  the 
case  of  Mayor  Mollman  there  seems  to  have  been  an  open,  paid  advertising  campaign 
to  slander  and  intimidate  the  attorney  general. 

The  burned  area  of  the  city  was  on  Fifth  Street,  Broadway,  Walnut  Street, 
Eighth  Street,  Eleventh  Street  and  Bond  Avenue,  as  well  as  "the  Flats"  on 
Seventh  Street,  between  Division  and  Missouri  avenues.  This  latter  area 
was  that  occupied  by  Negroes.  There  were  312  buildings  and  forty-four 
railroad  cars  totally  or  partially  destroyed,  with  a  total  loss  of  $393,600. 

The  riots  in  East  St.  Louis  may  be  traced,  more  or  less  directly,  to  a 
number  of  causes,  the  influence  of  each  being  apparent. 

Without  doubt  conditions  resulting  from  the  migration  of  a  large  number 
of  Negroes  from  the  South,  a  movement  which  was  more  or  less  general  at 
that  time,  account  in  large  measure  for  the  riots,  but  also  involved  in  it  aU 
are  the  facts  that  there  had  been  industrial  friction,  and  that  the  city  was 
flagrantly  misgoverned. 

The  Congressional  Committee  observed  an  effort  to  shift  the  blame  from 
one  element  to  another.  The  labor  interests  sought  to  place  responsibility 
for  the  riots  upon  the  employers,  who,  they  said,  had  brought  great  niunbers 
of  Negroes  to  East  St.  Louis  in  order  that  they  might  more  readily  dominate 
the  employment  situation.  The  employers,  on  the  other  hand,  thought  the 
blame  rested  upon  the  city  and  county  administration  because  of  laxity  in  law 
enforcement,  exploitation  of  Negroes  for  political  purposes,  and  all  sorts  of 
political  corruption,  including  the  "protection"  of  vice  and  crime.  The 
political  ring  sought  to  dodge  responsibflity  by  emphasizing  economic  and 
industrial  causes  of  the  outbreak. 

Whatever  may  have  been  the  conditions  resulting  from  the  influx  of 
Negroes,  they  were  undoubtedly  actuated  by  a  desire  to  improve  their  condi- 
tion. Some  10,000  or  12,000  Negroes  had  come  to  St.  Clair  County  from  the 
South  during  the  winter  of  1916-17.  During  the  year  and  a  half  preceding 
the  riot,  the  number  of  such  migrants  was  estimated  at  18,000,  although  it 
was  reported  that  many  had  returned  during  the  winter  of  1 916-17,  because 
of  the  unaccustomed  cold  climate.  It  is  certaia  that  this  influx  severely 
taxed  the  housing  accommodations  of  East  St.  Louis,  which  were  of  the  insani- 
tary and  inadequate  nature  that  so  often  characterizes  urban  districts  in  which 
the  Negroes  find  that  they  must  live.  The  report  of  the  Congressional  Com- 
mittee on  this  point  says: 

It  is  a  lamentable  fact  that  the  employers  of  labor  paid  too  little  heed  to  the  com- 
fort or  welfare  of  their  men.  They  saw  them  crowded  into  wretched  cabins  without 
water  or  any  of  the  conveniences  of  Ufe,  their  wives  and  children  condemned  to  live  in 
the  disreputable  quarters  of  the  town,  and  made  no  effort  to  lift  them  out  of  the  mire. 
The  Negroes  gravitated  to  the  insanitary  sections,  existed  in  the  squalor  of  filthy 
cabins  and  made  no  complaint,  but  the  white  workmen  had  a  higher  outlook,  and 


failure  to  provide  them  with  better  homes  added  to  their  bitter  dissatisfaction  with 
the  burdens  placed  upon  them  by  having  to  compete  with  black  labor. 

It  is  likewise  in  evidence  that  special  inducements  were  offered  to  the 
southern  Negroes  to  come  to  East  St.  Louis,  as  well  as  to  other  industrial 
centers  in  the  North.  Advertisements  were  placed  in  southern  newspapers, 
offering  employment  at  wages  far  in  excess  of  those  paid  in  the  South.  Low 
railroad  rates  were  offered,  and  in  some  instances  during  this  general  migration 
the  railroads  are  said  to  have  transported  Negroes  free  in  order  that  they  might 
be  employed  by  the  railroads.  Failures  of  crops  in  the  South,  floods  and  ill 
treatment  of  Negroes  there,  coupled  with  the  hope  that  they  would  find 
fairer  treatment  in  the  North,  as  well  as  better  wages  and  living  conditions, 
were  the  direct  causes  of  migration.  After  this  had  become  fairly  general 
it  was  further  stimulated  by  Negroes  who  had  come  North,  and  who  wrote 
home  painting  northern  conditions  in  glowing  colors. 

From  the  industrial  point  of  view  it  should  be  noted  that  in  the  summer 
of  1916  there  had  been  a  strike  of  4,000  white  men  in  the  packing-plants  of 
East  St.  Louis.  It  was  asserted  that  Negroes  were  used  in  these  plants  as 
strike  breakers.  A  report  on  the  Negro  migration  by  the  United  States 
Department  of  Labor  states  that  when  the  strike  was  ended  Negroes  were  still 
employed,  and  some  of  the  white  men  lost  their  positions.  It  says  fxirther: 
"The  white  leaders  imdoubtedly  realized  that  the  effectiveness  of  striking  was 
materially  lessened  by  this  importation  of  black  workers." 

Furthermore,  it  is  stated  in  the  report  of  the  Congressional  Committee 
that  the  Aluminum  Ore  Company,  during  a  strike,  brought  hundreds  of  Negroes 
to  the  city  as  strike  breakers  in  order  to  defeat  organized  labor,  "a  precedent 
which  aroused  intense  hatred  and  antagonism,  and  caused  cotmtless  tragedies 
as  its  aftermath.  The  feeling  of  resentment  grew  with  each  succeeding  day. 
White  men  walked  the  streets  in  idleness  and  their  families  suffered  for  food 
and  warmth  and  clothes,  while  their  places  as  laborers  were  taken  by  strange 
Negroes  who  were  compelled  to  live  in  hovels  and  who  were  used  to  keep 
down  wages." 

In  May,  1917,  a  strike  followed  demands  which  had  been  made  upon  the 
Aluminum  Ore  Company  by  the  "Aluminum  Ore  Employees'  Protective 
Association."  These  related  to  alleged  injustices  and  discriminations  said 
to  have  been  practiced  against  the  employees.  The  company  failed  to  comply 
with  these  demands,  and  a  thousand  white  workers  struck. 

Closely  related  to  this  situation  was  a  notice  sent  to  the  delegates  of  the 
Central  Trades  Labor  Union  by  the  secretary  of  the  Union,  dated  May  23, 
which  declared  that  the  immigration  of  the  southern  Negro  had  reached  a 
point  where  "drastic  action  must  be  taken  if  we  intend  to  work  and  to  live 
peaceably  in  this  community."  This  notice  declared  that  these  men  were 
being  used  "  to  the  detriment  of  our  white  citizens  by  some  of  the  capitalists 
and  a  few  real  estate  owners."    It  called  a  meeting  to  present  to  the  mayor 


and  city  council  a  demand  for  action  to  "retard  this  growing  menace,  and  also 
devise  a  way  to  get  rid  of  a  certain  portion  of  those  who  are  already  here." 
The  notice  read  further:  "This  is  not  a  protest  against  the  Negro  who  has 
long  been  a  resident  of  East  St.  Louis,  and  is  a  law  abiding  citizen." 

This  meeting  was  held  on  May  28  in  the  auditorium  of  the  city  hall  and 
was  attended  not  only  by  the  labor  men  but  also  by  a  large  number  of  other 
persons.  The  Congressional  Committee  refers  to  one  of  the  speakers  at  this 
meeting  as  "an  attorney  of  some  ability  and  no  character."  The  report  of 
the  Committee  says  that  he  virtually  advised  the  killing  of  Negroes  and 
burning  of  their  homes.    The  report  says  further: 

He  was  not  authorized  to  speak  for  those  who  went  there  to  protest  against  the 
lawlessness  which  disgraced  the  city  and  the  presence  of  thousands  of  Negroes  who  it 
is  claimed  were  taking  the  places  of  the  white  workmen,  but  his  inflammatory  speech 

caused  many  of  his  hearers  to  rush  into  the  street  and  to  resort  to  acts  of  violence 

He  was  in  full  sympathy  with  the  action  of  the  mob.  They  followed  his  advice  and 
the  scenes  of  murder  and  arson  that  ensued  were  the  logical  result  of  his  utterances. 

That  night.  May  28,  following  the  meeting,  a  crowd  of  white  people 
assembled  in  front  of  the  police  station  and  clamored  for  Negro  prisoners. 
A  rumor  circulated  through  the  crowd  that  a  white  man  had  just  been  killed 
by  Negroes,  and  parts  of  the  crowd  left,  forming  a  mob  which  severely  beat 
a  number  of  Negroes  whom  it  met.  The  situation  was  so  serious  that  the  mayor 
called  for  troops.  The  trouble  subsided,  however.  It  is  important  to  note 
that  from  this  time  until  the  riot  of  July  1-2,  no  effort  was  made  to  strengthen 
the  police  force  nor  were  any  other  steps  taken  to  control  the  situation. 

In  connection  with  the  industrial  phase  of  the  situation,  it  should  be 
remembered  that  the  war  had  cut  off  the  normal  supply  of  foreign  labor,  and 
that  not  a  few  white  workers  had  left  East  St.  Louis  for  other  industrial  centers. 
Most  of  the  Negro  migrants  were  vmskiUed  workers,  and  their  competition 
was,  therefore,  with  the  unskilled  white  workers.  One  witness  before  the 
Congressional  Committee  expressed  the  view  that  the  labor  shortage  in  East 
St.  Louis  prior  to  the  riot  certainly  did  not  justify  the  great  influx  of  Negroes, 
but  it  is  of  record  that  most  of  the  newcomers  got  profitable  employment  in 
unskilled  occupations. 

The  employers  were  fighting  unions  of  any  sort,  whether  of  whites  or 
Negroes.  Unions  were  seeking  membership  of  Negroes  as  well  as  whites  in 
the  hope  that  the  use  of  Negroes  as  strike  breakers  might  be  prevented. 
Whether  union  men  or  not,  the  white  workers  resented  the  influx  of  Negro 
workers  who  might  take  their  jobs.  The  inevitable  consequence  was  friction 
between  whites  and  Negroes. 

The  Congressional  Committee  laid  great  stress  upon  corrupt  politics  as 
the  leading  cause  of  the  riots  of  July  2.  It  disclosed  an  almost  unbelievable 
combination  of  shameless  corruption,  tolerance  of  vice  and  crune,  maladminis- 
tration, and  debauchery  of  the  courts.    The  report  says  that  East  St.  Louis 


for  many  years  was  a  plague  spot,  harboring  within  its  borders  "every  offense 
in  the  calendar  of  crime"  and  committing  openly  "every  lapse  in  morals  and 
public  decency."  Politicians  looted  its  treasury,  gave  away  valuable  fran- 
chises, and  elected  plunderers  to  high  office.  Graft,  collusion  with  crime  and 
vice,  and  desecration  of  office  were  openly  and  deliberately  practiced.  Crimi- 
nals were  attracted  and  welcomed,  and  the  good  people  of  the  community 
were  powerless.  Owners  of  large  corporations  and  manufacturers  pitted  white 
against  black  labor,  giving  no  thought  to  their  thousands  of  workmen  living 
in  hovels,  the  victims  of  "poverty  and  disease,  of  long  hours  and  incessant 

The  mayor,  continues  the  report,  was  a  tool  of  dishonest  politicians,  the 
electorate  was  "debauched,"  the  police  were  a  conscienceless  bunch  of  grafters, 
and  the  revenue  of  the  city  was  largely  derived  from  saloons  and  dens  of  vice. 

Several  officials  and  politicians  of  high  standing  were  singled  out  by  the 
Committee  for  especial  condemnation  as  the  "brains  of  the  city's  corruption." 

A  great  deal  of  the  city's  crime  and  vice  was  concentrated  in  what  is  known 
as  "Black  Valley."  This  was  the  section  in  which  the  Negroes  lived,  but 
much  of  the  vice  and  crime  was  promoted  and  practiced  by  vicious  whites. 
There  was  much  mixing  of  whites  and  Negroes  in  the  vilest  practices. 

Similar  conditions  existed  in  the  town  of  Brooklyn  near  by,  with  about 
3,000  people,  of  whom  only  about  fifty  were  white.  Its  dens  of  iniquity  were 
notorious  and  were  the  resort  of  many  white  people.  So  openly  operated 
were  these  resorts  that  the  Congressional  Committee  reported  that  in  the 
Brookl)^  high  school  "24  out  of  25  girls  who  were  in  the  graduatrag  class 
went  to  the  bad  in  the  saloons  and  dance  halls  and  failed  to  receive  their 

Not  only  were  conditions  of  this  sort  demoralizing  and  degrading  for  the 
decent  Negroes,  but  the  sanitary  conditions  were  likewise  extremely  bad. 
Some  of  the  houses  in  the  Negro  districts  had  not  been  painted  for  fifteen 
years  and  were  in  a  state  of  great  disrepair.  Their  setting  consisted  largely 
of  pools  of  stagnant  water  and  beds  of  weeds.  At  one  period  during  the 
migration  Negroes  were  coming  in  so  fast  that  even  these  miserable  housing 
conditions  were  inadequate,  and  some  of  them  were  forced  to  live  in  sheds. 
In  one  instance  sixty-nine  newcomers  were  foxmd  living  in  one  small  house. 
Whenever  houses  were  vacated  by  white  people  and  rented  to  Negroes,  the 
rental  price  was  largely  increased,  sometimes  doubled. 

After  reviewing  the  corruption  in  East  St.  Louis,  the  report  of  the  Congres- 
sional Committee  discussed  the  riot.  It  described  the  condition  of  affairs 
on  the  night  of  July  i,  19 17,  when  the  second  and  most  serious  outbreak 
occurred.  An  automobile  (some  witnesses  said  two)  went  through  the  Negro 
section  of  the  city,  its  occupants  firing  promiscuously  into  homes.  This  aroused 
fierce  resentment  among  the  Negroes,  who  organized  for  defense  and  armed 
themselves  with  guns.    The  ringing  of  the  church  beU,  a  prearranged  signal 


for  assembling,  drew  a  crowd  of  them,  and  they  marched  through  the  streets 
ready  to  avenge  the  attack.  A  second  automobile  filled  with  white  men 
crossed  their  path.  The  Negroes  cursed  them,  commanded  them  to  drive  on, 
and  fired  a  volley  into  the  machine.  The  occupants,  however,  were  not  the 
rioters  but  policemen  and  reporters.  One  policeman  was  killed  and  another 
was  so  seriously  wounded  that  he  died  later. 

Thousands  viewed  the  riddled  car  standing  before  police  headquarters. 
The  early  editions  of  the  newspapers  gave  full  accounts  of  the  tragedy,  and 
on  July  2  the  rioting  began.  Negro  mobs  shot  white  men,  and  white  men 
and  boys,  girls  and  women,  began  to  attack  every  Negro  in  sight.  News 
spread  rapidly  and,  as  excitement  increased,  unimaginable  depredations  and 
horrible  tortures  were  committed  and  viewed  with  "placid  unconcern"  by 
hundreds.  Negro  men  were  stabbed,  clubbed,  and  hanged  from  telephone 
poles.  Their  homes  were  burned.  Women  and  children  were  not  spared. 
An  instance  is  given  of  a  Negro  child  two  years  old  which  was  shot  and  thrown 
into  a  doorway  of  a  burning  building. 

On  the  night  of  July  i,  Mayor  MoUman  telephoned  to  the  Adjutant 
General  of  Illinois  saying  that  the  police  were  no  longer  able  to  handle  the 
situation  and  requesting  that  the  militia  be  sent.  Both  the  police  and  the 
militia  are  severely  censured  by  the  Congressional  report  for  gross  failure  to 
do  their  duty.  The  police,  says  the  report,  could  have  quelled  the  riot  instantly, 
but  instead  they  either  "fled  into  the  safety  of  cowardly  seclusion  or  listlessly 
watched  the  depredations  of  the  mob,  passively  and  in  many  instances  actively 
sharing  in  the  work." 

In  all,  five  companies  of  the  Illinois  National  Guard  were  sent  to  East 
St.  Louis.  Some  of  them  arrived  on  the  morning  of  July  2,  the  first  at 
8:40  A.M.  These  forces  were  in  command  of  Colonel  S.  O.  Tripp.  Concern- 
ing the  conduct  of  the  militia,  the  Congressional  Committee  reported  in  strong 
terms,  singling  out  Colonel  Tripp  for  especial  condemnation.  It  said  that  he 
was  a  hindrance  instead  of  a  help  to  the  troops;  that  "he  was  ignorant  of 
his  duties,  blind  to  his  responsibilities  and  deaf  to  every  intelligent  appeal 
that  was  made  to  him." 

The  troops,  in  the  estimation  of  the  Committee,  were  poorly  officered 
and  in  only  a  few  cases  did  their  duty.  The  report  states  that  "  they  seemed 
moved  by  the  same  spirit  of  indifference  or  cowardice  that  marked  the  conduct 
of  the  police  force.  As  a  rule  they  fraternized  with  the  mob,  joked  with  them 
and  made  no  serious  effort  to  restrain  them." 

Many  instances  are  given  of  active  participation  and  encouragement  of 
the  mob  in  its  murders,  arson,  and  general  destruction. 

The  only  redeeming  feature  of  the  activities  of  the  militia,  according  to 
the  Congressional  Committee,  was  "  the  conduct,  bravery,  and  skill  of  the  officer 
second  in  command,  whose  promptness  and  determination  prevented  the  mob 
from  committing  many  more  atrocities." 


By  eight  o'clock  of  the  evening  of  July  2  there  were  seventeen  officers  and 
270  men  on  duty,  and  by  July  4  the  force  had  increased  to  thirty-seven  officers 
and  1,411  men.  On  the  evening  of  July  2  the  fury  of  the  mob  had  spent  itseK, 
and  the  riot  subsided. 

The  behavior  of  the  troops  was  condemned  not  only  by  the  Congressional 
Committee  but  by  citizens  generally,  and  a  special  inquiry  was  made  into  their 
conduct  by  the  Military  and  Naval  Department  of  the  State  of  lUiaois. 
Witnesses  to  dereliction  on  duty  on  the  part  of  the  soldiers  were  examined 
and  commanding  officers  of  troops  were  asked  to  testify  and  explain  specific 
acts  of  violence  and  neglect  of  duty.  In  all  seventy-nine  persons  were  examined. 
Although  the  charges  against  the  soldiers  in  a  large  number  of  cases  were  serious 
and  sufficient  to  warrant  the  criticism  which  they  received,  identification  of 
individuals  guUty  of  these  acts  was  difficult.  This  probably  accounts  for 
the  fact  that  only  seven  court-martials  resulted  from  the  inquiry.  The  com- 
manding officer,  though  severely  censured  by  the  Congressional  Committee, 
was  exonerated  by  this  inquiry. 



During  the  period  1916-18  approximately  a  half-million  Negroes  suddenly- 
moved  from  southern  to  northern  states.  This  movement,  however,  was  not 
without  a  precedent.  A  similar  migration  occurred  in  1879,  when  Negroes 
moved  from  Mississippi,  Louisiana,  Texas,  Alabama,  Tennessee,  and  North 
Carolina  to  Kansas.  The  origin  of  this  earUer  movement,  its  causes,  and 
manner  resemble  in  many  respects  the  one  which  has  so  recently  attracted 
pubHc  attention. 

The  migration  of  1916-18  cannot  be  separated  completely  from  the  steady, 
though  inconspicuous,  exodus  from  southern  to  northern  states  that  has  been  in 
progress  since  1 860,  or,  in  fact,  since  the  operation  of  the  "  underground  railway." 
In  1900  there  were  911,025  Negroes  hving  in  the  North,  10.3  per  cent  of  the 
total  Negro  population,  which  was  then  8,883,994.  Census  figures  for  the 
period  1900-1910  show  a  net  loss  for  southern  states  east  of  the  Mississippi 
of  595,703  Negroes.  Of  this  number  366,880  are  found  in  northern  states. 
ReUable  estimates  for  the  last  decade  place  the  increase  of  northern  Negro 
population  around  500,000. 

The  1910-20  increase  of  the  Negro  population  of  Chicago  was  from  44,103 
to  109,594,  or  148.5  per  cent,  with  a  corresponding  increase  in  the  white 
population  of  21  per  cent,  including  foreign  immigration.  According  to  the 
Census  Bureau  method  of  estimating  natural  increase  of  population,  the  Negro 
population  of  Chicago  unaffected  by  the  migration  would  be  58,056  in  1920, 
and  the  increase  by  migration  alone  would  be  51,538. 

The  relative  1910-20  increases  in  white  and  Negro  population  in  typical 
industrial  cities  of  the  Middle  West,  given  in  Table  II,  illustrate  the  effect  of 
the  migration  of  southern  Negroes. 

The  migration  to  Chicago. — Within  a  period  of  eighteen  months  in  1917-18 
more  than  50,000  Negroes  came  to  Chicago  according  to  an  estimate  based 
on  averages  taken  from  actual  count  of  daUy  arrivals.  AU  of  those  who  came, 
however,  did  not  stay.  Chicago  was  a  re-routing  point,  and  many  immi- 
grants went  on  to  nearby  cities  and  towns.  During  the  heaviest  period, 
for  example,  a  Detroit  social  agency  reported  that  hundreds  of  Negroes  applying 
there  for  work  stated  that  they  were  from  Chicago.  The  tendency  appears 
to  have  been  to  reach  those  fields  offering  the  highest  present  wages  and 
permanent  prospects. 





of  Negro 

of  White 




Cincinnati,  Ohio 

Dayton,  Ohio 

Toledo,  Ohio 

Fort  Wayne,  Ind 

Canton,  Ohio 

Gary,  Ind 





158  0 
148. 5 

42. 5 

Detroit,  Mich 

Chicago,  lU 



A  series  of  circumstances  acting  together  in  an  unusual  combination  both 
provoked  and  made  possible  the  migration  of  Negroes  from  the  South  on  a 
large  scale.  The  causes  of  the  movement  faU  into  definite  divisions,  even 
as  stated  by  the  migrants  themselves.  For  example,  one  of  the  most  frequent 
causes  mentioned  by  southern  Negroes  for  their  change  of  home  is  the  treatment 
accorded  them  in  the  South.  Yet  this  treatment  of  which  they  complain 
has  been  practiced  since  their  emancipation,  and  fifty  years  afterward  more 
than  nine-tenths  of  the  Negro  population  of  the  United  States  stiU  remained 
in  the  South.  "Higher  wages"  was  also  cormnonly  stated  as  a  cause  of  the 
movement,  yet  thousands  came  to  the  North  and  to  Chicago  who  in  the  South 
had  been  earning  more  in  their  professions  and  even  in  skilled  occupations 
than  they  expected  to  receive  in  the  North.  These  causes  then  divide  into 
two  main  classes:  (i)  economic  causes,  (2)  sentimental  causes.  Each  has  a 
bearing  on  both  North  and  South.  The  following  statements  are  based  on 
reports  prepared  by  trustworthy  agencies  during  the  migration,  on  letters  and 
statements  from  migrants,  Negroes  and  whites  Uving  in  the  South  and  the 
North,  and  on  family  history  obtained  by  the  Commission's  investigators. 

A.     THE  SOUIH 

Low  wages. — Wages  of  Negroes  in  the  South  varied  from  75  cents  a  day 
on  the  farms  to  $1.75  a  day  in  certain  city  jobs,  in  the  period  just  preceding 
1914.  The  rise  in  Uving  costs  which  followed  the  outbreak  of  the  war  out- 
stripped the  rise  in  wages.  In  Alabama  the  price  paid  for  day  labor  in  the 
twenty-one  "black  belt"  counties  averaged  50  and  60  cents  a  day.  It  ranged 
from  40  cents,  as  a  minimum,  to  75  cents,  and,  in  a  few  instances,  $1.00 
was  a  maximum  for  able-bodied  mak  farm  hands.' 

A  Negro  minister,  writing  in  Jthe  Montgomery  (Alabama)  Advertiser,  said: 

The  Negro  farm  hand  gets  for  his  compensation  hardly  more  than  the  mule  he 

plows;  that  is,  his  board  and  shelter.    Some  mules  fare  better  than  Negroes.    This, 

•  Negro  migration  in  1916-17,  U.S.  Department  of  Labor  Report,  p.  67. 



too,  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  the  money  received  for  farm  products  has  advanced 
more  than  loo  per  cent.  The  laborer  has  not  shared  correspondingly  in  this  advance. 
High  rents  and  low  wages  have  driven  the  Negro  ofi  the  farms.  They  have  no 
encouragement  to  work.  Only  here  and  there  you  will  find  a  tenant  who  is  getting 
a  square  deal  and  the  proper  encouragement. 

A  white  man,  writing  in  the  same  paper,  said: 

There  is  an  article  in  today's  Advertiser  headed  "Exodus  of  the  Negroes  to  Be 
Probed."  Why  hunt  for  a  cause  when  it's  plain  as  the  noonday  sun  the  Negro  is 
leaving  this  country  for  higher  wages  ?  He  doesn't  want  to  leave  here  but  he  knows 
if  he  stays  here  he  will  starve.  They  have  made  no  crops,  they  have  nothing  to  eat, 
no  clothes,  no  shoes,  and  they  can't  get  any  work  to  do,  and  they  are  leaving  just  as 

fast  as  they  can  get  away If  the  Negro  race  could  get  work  at  50  cents  per 

day  he  would  stay  here.    He  don't  want  to  go.    He  is  easily  satisfied  and  wiU  Uve 
on  half  rations  and  will  never  complain. 

The  Atlanta  Independent,  white,  said: 

If  our  white  neighbors  will  treat  the  Negro  kindly,  recognizing  his  rights  as  a 
man,  advance  his  wages  in  proportion  as  the  cost  of  hving  advances,  he  will  need 
no  ordinance  nor  legislation  to  keep  the  Negro  here.  The  South  is  his  natural  home. 
He  prefers  to  be  here,  he  loves  its  traditions,  its  ideals  and  its  people.  But  he  cannot 
stay  here  and  starve 

When  meat  was  15  cents  a  pound  and  flour  $8  a  barrel,  the  Negro  received  from 
$4  to  $8  a  week.  Now  meat  is  30  cents  a  pound  and  flour  |i6  a  barrel,  and  the  Negro 
is  receiving  the  same  wages.  He  cannot  live  on  this  and  the  white  man  cannot  expect 
him  to  Uve  in  the  South  and  five  on  the  starvation  wages  he  is  paying  him,  when  the 
fields  and  the  factories  in  the  North  are  offering  him  living  wages. 

The  boll  weevil. — ^In  1915  and  1916  the  boll  weevil  cotton  pest  so  ravaged 
sections  of  the  South  that  thousands  of  farmers  were  almost  ruined.  Cotton 
crops  were  lost,  and  the  farmers  were  forced  to  change  from  cotton  to  food 
products.  The  growing  of  cotton  requires  about  thirty  times  as  many ' '  hands ' ' 
as  food  products.  As  a  result  many  Negroes  were  thrown  out  of  employment. 
The  damage  wrought  by  the  boll  weevil  was  augmented  by  destructive  storms 
and  floods,  which  not  only  affected  crops  but  made  the  living  conditions  of 
Negroes  more  miserable. 

Loch  of  capital. — The  "credit  system"  is  a  very  convenient  and  common 
practice  in  many  parts  of  the  South.  Money  is  borrowed  for  upkeep  until 
the  selling  season,  when  it  is  repaid  in  one  lump  sum.  The  succession  of  short 
crops  and!  the  destruction  due  to  the  boll  weevil  and  storms  occasioned  heavy 
demands  for  capital  to  carry  labor  through  the  fall  and  early  winter  until  a 
new  crop  could  be  started.  There  was  a  shortage  of  capital,  and  as  a  result 
there  was  little  opportunity  for  work.  During  this  period  many  white  persons 
migrated  from  sections  of  the  South  most  seriously  affected. 

"  Unsatisfactory"  living  conditions. — ^The  plantation  cabins  and  segregated 
sections  in  cities  where  municipal  laxity  made  home  surroundings  undesirable 
have  been  stated  as  another  contributing  cause  of  the  movement. 



Lack  of  school  facilities. — The  desire  to  place  their  children  in  good  schools 
was  a  reason  often'  given  by  migrants  with  famihes  for  leaving  the  South. 
School  facihties  are  described  as  lamentably  poor  even  by  southern  whites. 
Perhaps  the  most  thorough  statement  of  these  conditions  is  given  in  a  Study 
of  Negro  Education  by  Thomas  Jesse  Jones,  made  under  the  direction  of  the 
federal  Bureau  of  Education,  and  comparing  provisions  for  white  and  Negro 
children  in  fifteen  southern  states  and  the  District  of  Columbia.    He  states: 

In  the  South  they  [Negroes]  form  29.8  per  cent  of  the  total  population,  the 
proportion  in  Mississippi  and  South  Carolina  being  over  55  per  cent  and  ranging  in 
the  "black  belt"  counties  from  50  to  90  per  cent  of  the  total  population.  Almost 
3,000,000  are  engaged  in  agricultural  pursuits.  They  form  40.4  per  cent  of  all  persons 
engaged  in  these  pursuits  in  the  Southern  States. 

Though  the  United  States  census  shows  a  decrease  in  illiteracy,  there  are  still 
about  2,225,000  Negroes  illiterate  in  the  South,  or  over  33  per  cent  of  the  Negro 
population  ten  years  of  age  and  over. 


Total  population 

Population  six  to  fourteen  years  of  age .  .  .  . 

Population  six  to  fourteen* 

Teachers'  salaries  in  public  schools 

Teachers'  salaries  per  child  six  to  fourteen . 

Per  cent  of  illiteracy 

Per  cent  rural 







i!,  023,  108 



*  In  i,oss  counties. 

In  the  fifteen  states  and  the  District  of  Columbia  for  which  salaries  by  race 
could  be  obtained,  the  pubUc  school  teachers  received  $42,510,431  in  salaries.  Of 
this  sum  $36,649,827  was  for  the  teachers  of  3,552,431  white  children  and  $5,860,876 
for  teachers  of  1,852,181  colored  children.  On  a  per  capita  basis,  this  is  $10.32  for 
each  white  child  and  $2.89  for  each  colored  child. 


County  Groups,  Percentage  of  Negroes 
in  the  Population 

White  School 

Negro  School 

Per  Capita 
for  White 

Per  Capita 
for  Negro 




$  7.96 





Counties  10  to  25  per  cent 

Counties  50  to  75  per  cent 


Counties  75  per  cent  and  over 


The  supervisor  of  white  elementary  rural  schools  in  one  of  the  states  recently 
wrote  concerning  the  Negro  schools: 

"I  never  visit  one  of  these  [Negro]  schools  without  feeling  that  we  are  wasting 
a  large  part  of  this  money  and  are  neglecting  a  great  opportunity.  The  Negro  school- 
houses  are  miserable  beyond  all  description.  They  are  usually  without  comfort, 
equipment,  proper  lighting,  or  sanitation.    Nearly  all  of  the  Negroes  of  school  age 


in  the  district  are  crowded  into  these  miserable  structures  during  the  short  term 
which  the  school  runs.  Most  of  the  teachers  are  absolutely  untrained  and  have  been 
given  certificates  by  the  county  board,  not  because  they  have  passed  the  examination, 
but  because  it  is  necessary  to  have  some  kind  of  a  Negro  teacher.  Among  the  Negro 
rural  schools  which  I  have  visited,  I  have  found  only  one  in  which  the  highest  class 
knew  the  midtiplication  table.'' 

A  state  superintendent  writes: 

"There  has  never  been  any  serious  attempt  in  this  state  to  offer  adequate  educa- 
tional facilities  for  the  colored  race.  The  average  length  of  the  term  for  the  state 
is  only  four  months;  practically  all  of  the  schools  are  taught  in  dilapidated  churches, 
which,  of  course,  are  not  equipped  with  suitable  desks,  blackboards,  and  the  other 
essentials  of  a  school;  practically  all  of  the  teachers  are  incompetent,  possessing 
httle  or  no  education  and  having  had  no  professional  training  whatever,  except  a  few 
weeks  obtained  in  the  summer  schools;  the  schools  are  generally  overcrowded, 
some  of  them  having  as  many  as  100  students  to  the  teacher;  no  attempt  is  made  to 
do  more  than  teach  the  children  to  read,  write,  and  figure,  and  these  subjects  are 
learned  very  imperfectly.  There  are  six  or  eight  industrial  supervisors  financed  in 
whole  or  in  part  by  the  Jeanes  Fund;  most  of  these  teachers  are  stimulating  the 
Negro  schools  to  do  very  good  work  upon  the  practical  things  of  Ufe.  A  few  wide- 
awake Negro  teachers  not  connected  with  the  Jeanes  Fund  are  doing  the  same  thing. 
It  can  probably  be  truthfully  said  that  the  Negro  schools  are  gradually  improving, 
but  they  are  still  just  about  as  poor  and  inadequate  as  they  can  be." 

Commenting  on  the  cause  of  the  migration,  the  Atlanta  Constitution,  a 
prominent  southern  white  paper,  says: 

While  mob  violence  and  the  falsehood  which  has  been  built  upon  that  foundation 
constitutes,  perhaps,  a  strong  factor  in  the  migration  of  the  Negroes,  there  is  scarcely 
a  doubt  that  the  educational  feature  enters  into  it.  Negroes  induced  to  go  to  the 
North  undoubtedly  beUeve  they  can  secure  better  educational  facilities  there  for  their 
children,  whether  they  really  succeed  in  getting  them  or  not. 

Georgia,  as  well  as  other  southern  states,  is  undoubtedly  behind  in  the  matter 
of  Negro  education,  unfair  in  the  matter  of  facilities,  in  the  quality  of  teachers  and 
instructors,  and  in  the  pay  of  those  expected  to  impart  proper  instruction  to  Negro 

We  have  proceeded  upon  the  theory  that  education  would,  in  his  own  mind,  at 
least,  carry  the  Negro  beyond  his  sphere;  that  it  would  give  him  higher  ideas  of  himself 
and  make  of  him  a  poorer  and  less  S9.tisfactory  workman.     That  is  nonsense 

b:  the  north 
The  cessation  of  immigration. — Prior  to  the  war  the  yearly  immigration  to 
the  United  States  equaled  approximately  the  total  Negro  population  of  the 
North.  Foreign  labor  filled  the  unskilled  labor  field,  and  Negroes  were  held 
closely  in  domestic  and  personal-service  work.  The  cessation  of  immigration 
and  the  return  of  thousands  of  aliens  to  their  mother-country,  together  with 
the.  opening  of  new  industries  and  the  extension  of  old  ones,  created  a  much 
greater  demand  for  American  labor.  Employers  looked  to  the  South  for 
Negroes  and  advertised  for  them. 


High  wa^e5.— Wages  for  unskilled  work  in  the  North  in  1916  and  1917 
ranged  from  I3.00  to  $8.00  a  day.  There  were  shorter  hours  of  work  and 
opportunity  for  overtime  and  bonuses. 

Living  conditions. — Houses  available  for  Negroes  in  the  North,  though 
by  northern  standards  classed  as  unsanitary  and  unfit  for  habitation,  afforded 
greater  comforts  than  the  rude  cabins  of  the  plantation.  For  those  who  had 
owned  homes  in  the  South  there  was  the  opportunity  of  selling  them  and 
applying  the  money  to  payment  for  a  good  home  in  the  North. 

Identical  school  privileges. — Co-education  of  whites  and  Negroes  in  northern 
schools  made  possible  a  higher  grade  of  instruction  for  the  children  of  migrants.' 


The  causes  classed  as  sentimental  include  those  which  have  reference  to 
the  feelings  of  Negroes  concerning  their  surroundings  in  the  South  and  their 
reactions  to  the  social  systems  and  practices  of  certain  sections  of  the  South. 
Frequently  these  causes  were  given  as  the  source  of  an  old  discontent  among 
Negroes  concerning  the  South.  Frequently  they  took  prominence  over 
economic  causes,  and  they  were  held  for  the  most  part  by  a  fairly  high  class 
of  Negroes.    These  causes  are  in  part  as  follows: 

Lack  of  protection  from  mob  violence. — ^Between  1885  and  1918,  2,881 
Negroes  were  lynched  in  the  United  States,  more  than  85  per  cent  of  these 
lynchings  occurring  in  the  South.  In  1917,  2,500  Negroes  were  driven  by 
force  out  of  Dawson  and  Forsythe  counties,  Georgia." 

The  Chicago  Urban  League  reported  that  numbers  of  migrants  from  towns 
where  lynchings  had  occurred  registered  for  jobs  in  Chicago  very  shortly 
after  lynchings.  Concerning  mob  violence  and  general  insecurity  both  whites 
and  Negroes  living  in  the  South  have  had  much  to  say.  Their  statements 
at  the  time  of  the  migration  are  here  quoted. 

From  the  Atlanta  Constitution  (white),  November  24,  1916: 

Current  dispatches  from  Albany,  Georgia,  in  the  center  of  the  section  apparently 
most  affected,  and  where  efforts  are  being  made  to  stop  the  exodus  by  spreading 
correct  information  among  the  Negroes,  say: 

The  heaviest  migration  of  Negroes  has  been  from  those  counties  in  which  there 
have  been  the  worst  outbreaks  against  Negroes.  It  is  developed  by  investigation  that 
where  there  have  been  lynchings,  the  Negroes  have  been  most  eager  to  believe  what 
the  emigration  agents  have  told  them  of  plots  for  the  removal  or  extermination  of  the 
race.  Comparatively  few  Negroes  have  left  Dougherty  County,  which  is  considered 
significant  in  view  of  the  fact  that  this  is  one  of  the  counties  in  southwest  Georgia 
in  which  a  lynching  has  never  occurred. 

These  statements  are  most  significant.  Mob  law  as  we  have  known  in  Georgia 
has  furnished  emigration  agents  with  all  the  leverage  they  want;  it  is  a  foundation 
upon  which  it  is  easy  to  build  with  a  well  concocted  lie  or  two,  and  they  have  not 
been  slow  to  take  advantage  of  it. 

"  See  "Contacts  in  Public  Schools."  '  Colored  Missions,  January,  1921. 


This  loss  of  her  best  labor  is  another  penalty  Georgia  is  paying  for  her  indifference 
and  inactivity  in  suppressing  mob  law. 

From  the  Southwestern  Christian  Advocate  (Negro),  April  26,  1917: 
But  why  do  they  [the  Negroes]  go?  We  give  a  concrete  answer:  some  months 
ago  Anthony  Crawford,  a  highly  respectable,  honest  and  industrious  Negro,  with  a 
good  farm  and  holdings  estimated  to  be  worth  $300,000,  was  lynched  in  Abbeville, 
South  Carolina.  He  was  guilty  of  no  crime.  He  would  not  be  cheated  out  of  his 
cotton.  That  was  insolence.  He  must  be  taught  a  lesson.  When  the  mob  went 
for  him  he  defended  himself.  They  overpowered  him  and  brutally  Ijmched  him. 
This  murder  was  without  excuse  and  was  condemned  in  no  uncertain  words  by  the 
Governor,  other  high  officials  and  the  press  in  general  of  South  Carolina.  Officials 
pledged  that  the  lynchers  would  be  punished.  The  case  went  to  the  grand  jury. 
Mr.  Crawford  was  lynched  in  the  daytime  and  dragged  through  the  streets  by 
unmasked  men.  The  names  of  the  leaders  were  supposed  to  have  been  known,  and 
yet  the  grand  jury,  imder  oath,  says  that  it  could  not  find  sufficient  evidence  to  warrant 

an  indictment 

Is  any  one  surprised  that  Negroes  are  leaving  South  Carolina  by  the  thousands  ? 
The  wonder  is  that  any  of  them  remain.  They  will  suffer  in  the  North.  Some  of 
them  will  die.  But  Anthony  Crawford  did  not  get  a  chance  to  die  in  Abbeville, 
South  Carolina.  He  was  shamefully  miurdered.  Any  place  would  be  paradise 
compared  with  some  sections  of  the  South  where  the  Negroes  receive  such  maltreat- 

From  the  Savannah  (Georgia)  Morning  News  (white),  January  3,  1917: 
Another  cause  is  the  feeling  of  insecurity.  The  lack  of  legal  protection  in  the 
country  is  a  constant  nightmare  to  the  colored  people  who  are  trying  to  accumulate 
a  comfortable  little  home  and  farm.  There  is  scarcely  a  Negro  mother  in  the  country 
who  does  not  live  in  dread  and  fear  that  her  husband  or  son  may  come  in  unfriendly 
contact  with  some  white  person  as  to  bring  the  Ijmchers  or  the  arresting  officers  to 
her  door  which  may  result  in  the  wiping  out  of  her  entire  family.  It  must  be  acknowl- 
edged that  this  is  a  sad  condition 

The  Southern  white  man  ought  to  be  wilh'ng  to  give  the  Negro  a  man's  chance 
without  regard  to  his  race  or  color,  give  him  at  least  the  same  protection  of  law  given 
to  anyone  else.  If  he  will  not  do  this,  the  Negro  must  seek  those  North  or  West, 
who  wiU  give  him  better  wages  and  better  treatment.  I  hope,  however,  that  this 
will  not  be  necessary. 

Injustice  in  the  courts. — An  excerpt  from  one  of  the  newspapers  of  that 
period  illustrates  the  basis  of  this  cause: 

While  our  very  solvency  is  being  sucked  out  from  underneath  we  go  out  about 
affairs  as  usual — our  police  officers  raid  poolrooms  for  "loafing  Negroes,"  bring  in 
twelve,  keep  them  in  the  barracks  all  night,  and  next  morning  find  that  many  of  them 
have  steady,  regular  jobs,  valuable  assets  to  their  white  employers,  suddenly  left  and 
gone  to  Cleveland,  "where  they  don't  arrest  fifty  niggers  for  what  three  of 'em  done" 
[Montgomery  (Alabama)  Advertiser  (white),  September  2r,  1916]. 

Inferior  transporation  facilities. — This  refers  to  "Jim  Crow  cars,"  a  par- 
titioned section  of  one  railway  car,  usually  the  baggage  car,  and  partitioned 


sections  of  railway  waiting-rooms,  poorly  kept,  bearing  signs,  "For  colored 
only."  This  dissatisfaction  is  expressed  in  part  in  the  following  comment 
of  a  Negro  presiding  elder,  writing  in  the  Macon  (Georgia)  Ledger,  a  white 

The  petty  offenses,  which  you  mention,  are  far  more  numerous  than  you  are 
aware  of,  besides  other  unjust  treatments  enacted  daUy  on  the  streets,  street  cars 
and  trains.  Our  women  are  inhumanly  treated  by  some  conductors,  both  on  the  street 
cars  and  trains.  White  men  are  often  found  in  compartments  for  Negroes  smoking 
and  if  anything  is  said  against  it  they  who  speak  are  insulted,  or  the  car  is  purposely 
fiUed  with  big  puffs  of  smoke  and  the  conductor's  reply  is,  "He'U  quit  to-rectly." 
Recently  a  white  man  entered  a  trailer  for  Negroes  with  two  Uttle  dogs.  One  of  the 
dogs  went  between  the  seats  and  crouched  by  a  woman;  she  pushed  him  from  her 
and  the  white  man  took  both  dogs  and  set  them  aside  her  and  she  was  forced  to  ride 
with  them.  This  is  one  of  the  many,  many  acts  of  injustice  which  often  result  in  a 
row  for  which  the  Negro  has  to  pay  the  penalty.  These  things  are  driving  the  Negro 
from  the  South. 

Other  causes  stated  are  (a)  the  deprivation  of  the  right  to  vote,  (6)  the 
"rough-handed"  and  unfair  competition  of  "poor  whites,"  (c)  persecution  by 
petty  officers  of  the  law,  and  (d)  the  "persecution  of  the  Press." 


The  enormous  proportions  to  which  the  exodus  grew  obscure  its  beginning. 
Several  experiments  had  been  tried  with  southern  labor  in  the  Northeast, 
particularly  in  the  Connecticut  tobacco  fields  and  in  Pennsylvania.  In 
Connecticut,  Negro  students  from  the  southern  schools  had  been  employed 
during  summers  with  great  success.  Early  in  1916,  industries  in  Pennsylvania 
imported  many  Negroes  from  Georgia  and  Florida.  During  July  one  railroad 
company  stated  that  it  had  brought  to  Pennsylvania  more  than  13,000  Negroes. 
They  wrote  back  for  their  friends  and  families,  and  from  the  points  to  which 
they  had  been  brought  they  spread  out  into  new  and  "labor  slack"  territories. 
Once  begun,  this  means  of  recruiting  labor  was  used  by  hard-pressed 
industries  in  other  sections  of  the  North.  The  reports  of  high  wages,  of  the 
unexpected  welcome  of  the  North,  and  of  unusually  good  treatment  accorded 
Negroes  spread  throughout  the  South  from  Georgia  and  Florida  to  Texas. 

The  stimuli  of  suggestion  and  hysteria  gave  the  migration  an  almost 
religious  significance,  and  it  became  a  mass  movement.  Letters,  riomors, 
Negro  newspapers,  gossip,  and  other  forms  of  social  control  operated  to  add 
volume  and  enthusiasm  to  the  exodus.  Songs  and  poems  of  the  period  charac- 
terized the  migration  as  the  "Flight  Out  of  Egypt, "  "Bound  for  the  Promised 
Land,"  "Going  into  Canaan,"  "The  Escape  from  Slavery,"  etc. 

The  first  movement  was  from  Southeast  to  Northeast,  following  main 
lines  of  transportation.  Soon,  however,  it  became  known  that  the  Middle 
West  was  similarly  in  need  of  men.  Many  industries  advertised  for  southern 
Negroes  in  Negro  papers.    The  federal  Department  of  Labor  for  a  period  was 


instrumental  in  transporting  Negroes  from  the  South  to  relieve  the  labor 
shortage  in  other  sections  of  the  country,  but  discontinued  such  efforts  when 
southern  congressmen  pointed  out  that  the  South's  labor  supply  was  being 
depleted.  It  was  brought  out  in  the  East  St.  Louis  riot  inquiry  that  plants 
there  had  advertised  in  Texas  newspapers  for  Negro  laborers. 

Chicago  was  the  logical  destination  of  Negroes  from  Mississippi,  Arkansas, 
Alabama,  Louisiana,  and  Texas,  because  of  the  more  direct  railway  lines,  the 
way  in  which  the  city  had  become  known  in  these  sections  through  its  two 
great  mail-order  houses,  the  Stock  Yards,  and  the  packing-plants  with  their 
numerous  storage  houses  scattered  in  various  towns  and  cities  of  the  South. 
It  was  rtunored  in  these  sections  that  the  Stock  Yards  needed  50,000  men; 
it  was  said  that  temporary  housing  was  being  provided  by  these  hard-pressed 
industries.  Many  Negroes  came  to  the  city  on  free  transportation,  but  by  far 
the  greater  numbers  paid  their  own  fare.  Club  rates  offered  by  the  railroads 
brought  the  fare  within  reach  of  many  who  ordinarily  could  not  have  brought 
their  famihes  or  even  come  themselves.  The  organization  into  clubs  composed 
of  from  ten  to  fifty  persons  from  the  same  community  had  the  effect,  on  the 
one  hand,  of  adding  the  stimulus  of  intimate  persuasion  to  the  movement,  and, 
on  the  other  hand,  of  concentrating  soUd  groups  in  congested  spots  in  Chicago. 
A  study  of  certain  Negro  periodicals  shows  a  powerful  influence  on  southern 
Negroes  already  in  a  state  of  unsettlement  over  news  of  the  "opening  up  of 
the  North." 

The  Chicago  Defender  became  a  "herald  of  glad  tidings"  to  southern 
Negroes.  Several  cities  attempted  to  prevent  its  circulation  among  their 
Negro  population  and  confiscated  the  street-  and  store-sales  supplies  as  fast 
as  they  came.  Negroes  then  reUed  upon  subscription  copies  deUvered  through 
the  mails.  There  are  reports  of  the  clandestine  circulation  of  copies  of  the 
paper  in  bundles  of  merchandise.  A  correspondent  of  the  Defender  wrote: 
"White  people  are  paying  more  attention  to  the  race  in  order  to  keep  them  in 
the  South,  but  the  Chicago  Defender  has  emblazoned  upon  their  minds  'Bound 
for  the  Promised  Land.' " 

In  Gulf  port,  Mississippi,  it  was  stated,  a  man  was  regarded  "intelligent" 
if  he  read  the  Defender,  and  in  Laurel,  Mississippi,  it  was  said  that  old  men 
who  had  never  known  how  to  read,  bought  the  paper  simply  because  it  was 
regarded  as  precious.^ 

Articles  and  headlines  carrying  this  special  appeal  which  appeared  in  the 
Defender  are  quoted: 

Why  Should  the  Negro  Stay  in  the  South? 
west  indians  live  north 
It  is  true  the  South  is  nice  and  warm,  and  may  I  add,  so  is  China,  and  we  find 
Chinamen  living  in  the  North,  East,  and  West.    So  is  Japan,  but  the  Japanese  are 
liviag  everywhere. 

'  Johnson,  Migration  to  Chicago. 



While  in  Arkansas  a  member  of  the  school  board  in  one  of  the  cities  of  that  state 
(and  it  is  said  it  is  the  rule  throughout  the  South  that  a  Race  woman  teacher  to  hold 
her  school  must  be  on  friendly  terms  with  some  one  of  them)  lived  openly  with  a 
Race  woman,  and  the  entire  Race,  men  and  women,  were  afraid  to  protest  or  stop 
their  children  from  going  to  school,  because  this  school  board  member  would  get  up 
a  mob  and  run  them  out  of  the  state.    They  must  stomach  this  treatment. 


To  die  from  the  bite  of  frost  is  far  more  glorious  than  that  of  the  mob.  I  beg 
of  you,  my  brothers,  to  leave  that  benighted  land.  You  are  free  men.  Show  the  world 
that  you  wiU  not  let  false  leaders  lead  you.  Your  neck  has  been  in  the  yoke.  Will 
you  continue  to  keep  it  there  because  some  "white  folks  Nigger"  wants  you  to? 
Leave  to  aU  quarters  of  the  globe.  Get  out  of  the  South.  Your  being  there  in  the 
numbers  you  are  gives  the  southern  poUtician  too  strong  a  hold  on  your  progress. 


Turn  a  deaf  ear  to  everybody.  You  see  they  are  not  hfting  their  laws  to  help 
you,  are  they  ?  Have  they  stopped  their  Jim  Crow  cars  ?  Can  you  buy  a  Pullman 
sleeper  where  you  wish  ?  Will  they  give  you  a  square  deal  in  court  yet  ?  When  a 
girl  is  sent  to  prison,  she  becomes  the  mistress  of  the  guards  and  others  in  authority, 
and  women  prisoners  are  put  on  the  streets  to  work,  something  they  don't  do  to  a 
white  woman.  And  your  leaders  will  teU  you  the  South  is  the  best  place  for  you. 
Turn  a  deaf  ear  to  the  scoundrel,  and  let  him  stay.  Above  all,  see  to  it  that  that 
jmnping-jack  preacher  is  left  at  the  South,  for  he  means  you  no  good  here  at  the  North. 


One  of  our  dear  southern  friends  informs  an  anxious  pubUc  that  "the  Negroes  of 
the  North  seem  to  fit  very  well  into  their  occupations  and  locations,  but  the  southern 
Negro  will  never  make  a  success  in  the  North.  He  doesn't  understand  the  methods 
there,  the  people  and  the  work  are  wholly  unsuited  to  him.  Give  him  a  home  in 
the  South  where  climatic  conditions  blend  into  his  peculiar  physical  makeup,  where 
he  is  understood  and  can  understand,  and  let  him  have  a  master  and  you  have  given 
him  the  ideal  home."  There  is  the  solution  of  the  problem  in  a  nutshell.  This  dear 
friend  thinks  that  under  a  master  back  of  the  sugar  cane  and  cotton  fields,  we  might 
really  be  worth  something  to  the  world.  How  thoughtful  to  point  out  the  way  for 
our  stumbling  feet. 

Those  who  live  in  the  North  presumably  always  lived  there,  and,  like  Topsy, 
they  "just  growed"  in  that  section,  so  naturally  fit  well  into  their  occupations. 
There  is  such  a  diEEerence  between  the  white  man  and  the  black  man  of  the  South; 
the  former  can  travel  to  the  North  Pole  if  he  chooses  without  being  affected,  the  latter, 
"they  say"  will  die  of  a  million  dread  diseases  if  he  dares  to  leave  Dixie  land,  and  yet 
the  thousands  who  have  migrated  North  in  the  past  year  look  as  well  and  hearty 
as  they  ever  did.    Something  is  wrong  in  our  friend's  calculations. 

We  hear  again  and  again  of  our  "peculiar  physical  makeup."  Is  there  something 
radically  difierent  about  us  that  is  not  found  in  other  people  ?  Why  the  constant 
fear  of  Negro  supremacy  if  the  white  brain  is  more  active  and  intelligent  than  the 
brain  found  in  the  colored  man  ?    A  good  lawyer  never  fears  a  poor  one  in  a  court 


battle — ^he  knows  that  he  has  him  bested  from,  the  start.  The  fact  that  we  have 
made  good  wherever  and  whenever  given  an  opportunity,  we  admit,  is  a  little  dis- 
quieting, but  it  is  a  way  we  have,  and  is  hard  to  get  out  of.  Once  upon  a  time  we 
permitted  other  people  to  think  for  us — today  we  are  thinking  and  acting  for  ourselves, 
with  the  result  that  our  "friends"  are  getting  alarmed  at  our  progress.  We'd  like 
to  oblige  these  unselfish  ( ?)  souls  and  remain  slaves  in  the  South ,  but  to  other  sections 
of  the  country  we  have  said,  as  the  song  goes:  "I  hear  you  calling  me, "  and  boarded 
the  train  singing,  "Good-by  to  Dixie-Land." 

News  articles  in  the  Defender  kept  alive  the  enthusiasm  and  fervor  of  the 


Tampa,  Fla.,  Jan.  19. — ^J.  T.  King,  supposed  to  be  a  race  leader,  is  using  his 
wits  to  get  on  the  good  side  of  the  white  people  by  calling  a  meeting  to  urge  our 
people  not  to  migrate  North.  King  has  been  termed  a ' '  good  nigger  "  by  his  pernicious 
activity  on  the  emigration  question.  Reports  have  been  received  here  that  all  who 
have  gone  North  are  at  work  and  pleased  with  the  splendid  conditions  in  the  North. 
It  is  known  here  that  in  the  North  there  is  a  scarcity  of  labor,  mills  and  factories 
are  open  to  them.  People  are  not  paying  any  attention  to  King  and  are  packing 
and  ready  to  travel  North  to  the  "promised  land." 


Jackson,  Miss.,  March  23. — ^Although  the  white  police  and  sheriff  and  others 
are  using  every  effort  to  intimidate  the  citizens  from  going  North,  even  Dr.  Redmond's 
speech  was  circulated  around,  this  has  not  deterred  our  people  from  leaving.  Many 
have  walked  miles  to  take  the  train  for  the  North.  There  is  a  determination  to  leave 
and  there  is  no  hand  save  death  to  keep  them  from  it. 


J.  H.  Thomas,  Birmingham,  Ala.,  Brownsville  Colony,  has  been  here  several 
weeks  and  is  very  much  pleased  with  the  North.  He  is  working  at  the  Pullman 
shops,  making  twice  as  much  as  he  did  at  home.  Mr.  Thomas  says  the  "exodus" 
will  be  greater  later  on  in  the  year,  that  he  did  not  find  four  feet  of  snow  or  would 
freeze  to  death.    He  hves  at  346  East  Thirty-fifth  St. 


HuntsviUe,  Ala.,  Jan.  19. — 'Fifteen  families,  aU  members  of  the  Race,  left  here 
today  for  Pittsburgh,  Pa.,  where  they  will  take  positions  as  butlers,  and  maids, 
getting  sixty  to  seventy-five  dollars  per  month,  against  fifteen  and  twenty  paid  here. 
Most  of  them  claim  that  they  have  letters  from  their  friends  who  went  early  and  made 
good,  saying  that  there  was  plenty  of  work,  and  this  field  of  labor  is  short,  owing  to 
the  vast  amount  of  men  having  gone  to  Europe  and  not  returned. 

they're  leaving  MEMPHIS  IN  DROVES 

Some  are  coming  on  the  passenger. 
Some  are  coming  on  the  freight. 
Others  wiU  be  found  walking, 
For  none  have  time  to  wait. 


Other  headlines  read:  "Thousands  Leave  Memphis";  "Still  Planning 
to  Come  North";  "Northbound  Their  Cry."  These  articles  are  especially 
interesting  for  the  impelling  power  of  the  suggestion  of  a  great  mass  move- 

Denunciation  of  the  South: — ^The  idea  that  the  South  is  a  bad  place,  unfit 
for  the  habitation  of  Negroes,  was  "played  up"  and  emphasized  by  the  Defender. 
Conditions  most  distasteful  to  Negroes  were  given  first  prominence.  In  this 
it  had  a  clear  field,  for  the  local  southern  Negro  papers  dared  not  make  such 
unrestrained  utterances.    Articles  of  this  type  appeared: 


Forest  City,  Ark.,  Feb.  i6. — 'David  B.  Smith  (white)  is  on  trial  for  life  for  the 
brutal  murder  of  a  member  of  the  Race,  W.  H.  Winford,  who  refused  to  be  whipped 
like  others.  This  white  maii  had  the  habit  of  making  his  "slave"  submit  to  this 
sort  of  punishment  and  when  Winford  refused  to  stand  for  it,  he  was  whipped  to 
death  with  a  "black  snake"  whip.  The  trial  of  Smith  is  attracting  very  little  atten- 
tion. As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  white  people  here  think  nothing  of  it  as  the  dead  man 
is  a  "nigger." 

This  very  act,  coupled  with  other  recent  outrages  that  have  been  heaped  upon 
our  people,  are  causing  thousands  to  leave,  not  waiting  for  the  great  spring  movement 
in  May. 

The  Defender  had  a  favorite  columnist,  W.  Allison  Sweeney.  His  specialty 
was  "breaking  southerners  and  'white  folks'  niggers  on  the  wheel."  One  of 
his  articles  in  the  issue  of  June  23,  1917,  was  captioned:  "A  Chicago  'Nigger' 
Preacher,  a  'Feeder,'  of  The  'Little  Hells,'  Springs  up  to  Hinder  Our  Brethren 
Coming  North." 

A  passage  from  this  article  will  illustrate  the  temper  of  his  writings.  Aroused 
by  what  he  calls  a  "white  folks  nigger,"  he  remarks: 

Such  a  creature  has  recently  been  called  to  my  attention,  and  for  the  same 
reason  that  an  unchecked  rat  has  been  known  to  jeopardize  the  life  of  a  great  ship, 
a  mouse's  nibble  of  a  match  to  set  a  mansion  aflame,  I've  concluded  to  carve  a 

"Slice  of  liver  or  two" 

from  that  bellowing  ass,  who,  at  this  very  moment  no  doubt,  somewhere  in  the  South, 
is  going  up  and  down  the  land,  telling  the  natives  why  they  should  be  content,  as  the 
Tribune,  puts  it,  to  become  "Russianized,"  to  remain  in  that  land — to  them — of 
blight;  of  murdered 'kin,  deflowered  ■wovaaxihood.,  wrecked  homes,  strangled  ambitions, 
make-believe  schooh,  rozimg  "gun  parties,"  midnight  arrests,  rj^ei  virginity,  trumped 
up  charges,  lonely  graves,  where  owls  hoot,  and  where  friends  dare  not  go!  Do  you 
wonder  at  the  thousands  leaving  the  land  where  every  foot  of  ground  marks  a  tragedy, 
leaving  the  grave  of  their  fathers  and  all  that  is  dear,  to  seek  their  fortunes  in  the 
North?  And  you  who  say  that  their  going  is  to  seek  better  wages  are  insulting 
truth,  dethroning  reason,  and  consoling  yourself  with  a  groundless  allegation. 

Retaliation. — In  answer  to  the  warnings  of  the  South  against  the  rigors  of 
the  northern  winters,  articles  of  this  nature  appeared: 



So  much  has  been  said  through  the  white  papers  in  the  South  about  the  members 
of  the  race  freezing  to  death  in  the  North.  They  freeze  to  death  down  South  when 
they  don't  take  care  of  themselves.  There  is  no  reason  for  any  human  staying  in 
the  Southland  on  this  bugaboo  handed  out  by  the  white  press,  when  the  following 
clippings  are  taken  from  the  same  journals: 


Albany,  Ga.,  Feb.  8. — ^Yesterday  the  dead  body  of  Peter  Crowder,  an  old  Negro, 
was  found  in  an  out-of-the-way  spot  where  he  had  been  frozen  to  death  duriag  the 
recent  cold  snap  [from  the  Macon  (Georgia)  Telegraph]. 


Spartanburg,  Feb.  6. — Marshall  Jackson,  a  Negro  man,  who  lived  on  the  farm  of 
J.  T.  Harris  near  CampobeUo  Sunday  night  froze  to  death  [from  the  South  Carolina 


Coldest  weather  of  the  last  four  years  claimed  a  victim  Friday  night,  when 
Archie  Williams,  a  Negro,  was  frozen  to  death  in  his  bed  in  a  little  hut  in  the  outskirts 
of  Gretna  [from  the  New  Orleans  Item,  dated  Feb.  4th]. 


Harriet  Tolbert,  an  aged  Negro  woman,  was  frozen  to  death  in  her  home  at  18 
Garibaldi  Street  early  Monday  morning  during  the  severe  cold  [Atlanta  (Ga.)  Consti- 
tution, dated  Feb.  6]. 

If  you  can  freeze  to  death  in  the  North  and  be  free,  why  freeze  to  death  in  the 
South  and  be  a  slave,  where  your  mother,  sister,  and  daughter  are  raped  and  burned 
at  stake,  where  your  father,  brother  and  son  are  treated  with  contempt  and  hung  to 
a  pole,  riddled  with  bullets  at  the  least  mention  that  he  does  not  like  the  way  he  has 
been  treated  ? 

Come  North  then,  all  of  you  folks,  both  good  and  bad.  If  you  don't  behave 
yourself  up  here,  the  jails  will  certainly  make  you  wish  you  had.  For  the  hard  working 
man  there  is  plenty  of  work — if  you  reaUy  want  it.    The  Defender  says  come. 

Still  in  another  mood: 


Alexandria,  La.,  Sept.  29. — ^Joe  Pace  (white)  a  southern  workman,  who  had  a 
way  of  bulldozing  members  of  the  Race  employed  by  the  Ehzabeth  Lumber  Company, 
met  his  match  here  last  Saturday  night. 

Pace  got  into  one  of  his  moods  and  kicked  a  fellow  named  Israel.  Israel  deter- 
mined to  get  justice  some  way  and  knowing  that  the  courts  were  only  for  white  men 
in  this  part  of  the  country,  he  took  a  shot  at  Pace  and  his  aim  was  good. 

Another  type  of  article  appeared.  In  keeping  with  the  concept  of  the 
South  as  a  bad  place  for  Negroes,  their  escape  from  it  under  exceptional 
circumstances  was  given  unique  attention.  Thus,  there  were  reported  the 
following  kind  of  cases. 


Saved  from  the  South 
Lawyers  Save  Another  from  Being  Taken  South 

Saved  from  the  South 
Charged  with  Murder,  but  His  Release  Is  Secured  by  Habeas  Corpus 

New  Scheme  to  Keep  Race  Men  in  Dixie  Land 

A  piece  of  poetry  which  received  widespread  popularity  appeared  in  the 
Defender  under  the  title  "Bound  for  the  Promise  Land."  Other  published 
poems  expressing  the  same  sentiment  were:  "Farewell,  We're  Good  and  (Jone"; 
"Northward  Bound";  "The  Land  of  Hope." 

Five  young  men  were  arraigned  before  Judge  E.  Schwartz  for  reading  poetry. 
The  police  claim  they  were  inciting  riot  in  the  city  and  over  Georgia.  Two  of  the  men 
were  sent  to  Brown  farm  for  thirty  days,  a  place  not  fit  for  human  beings.  Tom 
Amaca  was  arrested  for  having  "Bound  for  the  Promise  Land,"  a  poem  published  in 
the  Defender  several  months  ago.  J.  N.  Chislom  and  A.  A.  Walker  were  arrested 
because  they  were  said  to  be  the  instigators  of  the  movement  of  the  race  to  the  North, 
where  work  is  plentiful  and  better  treatment  is  given. 

The  "Great  Northern  Drive." — The  setting  Of  definite  dates  was  another 
stimulus.  The  "Great  Northern  Drive"  was  scheduled  to  begin  May  15, 
1917.  This  date,  or  the  week  following,  corresponds  with  the  date  of  the 
heaviest  arrivals  in  the  North,  the  period  of  greatest  temporary  congestion 
and  awakening  of  the  North  to  the  presence  of  the  new  arrivals.  Letters  to 
the  Chicago  Defender  and  to  social  agencies  in  the  North  informed  them  of 
many  Negroes  who  were  preparing  to  come  in  the  "  Great. Drive."  The  follow- 
ing letter  tells  its  own  story: 

April  24th,  1917 
Mr.  R.  S.  Abbot 

Sir:  I  have  been  reading  the  Defender  for  one  year  or  more  and  last  February 

I  read  about  the  Great  Northern  Drive  to  take  place  May  isth  on  Thursday  and 

now  I  can  hear  so  many  people  speaking  of  an  excursion  to  the  North  on  the  isth 

of  May  for  I3.00.    My  husband  is  in  the  North  already  working,  and  he  wants  us 

to  come  up  in  May,  so  I  want  to  know  if  it  is  true  about  the  excursion.    I  am  getting 

ready  and  oh  so  many  others  also,  and  we  want  to  know  is  that  true  so  we  can  be  in 

the  Drive.    So  please  answer  at  once.    We  are  getting  ready. 


Usually  the  dates  set  were  for  Wednesday  and  Saturday  nights,  following 
pay  days. 

It  is  probably  no  exaggeration  to  say  that  the  Defender's  policy  prompted 
thousands  of  restless  Negroes  to  venture  North,  where  they  were  assured  of 
its  protection  and  championship  of  their  cause.  Many  migrants  in  Chicago 
attribute  their  presence  in  the  North  to  the  Defender's  encouraging  pictures 
of  relief  from  conditions  at  home  with  which  they  became  increasingly  dis- 
satisfied as  they  read. 





At  the  time  of  the  migration  the  great  majority  of  Negroes  in  Chicago 
lived  in  a  limited  area  on  the  South  Side,  principally  between  Twenty-second 
and  Thirty-ninth  streets,  Wentworth  Avenue  and  State  Street,  and  in  scattered 
groups  to  Cottage  Grove  Avenue  on  the  east.  State  Street  was  the  main 
thoroughfare.  Prior  to  the  influx  of  southern  Negroes,  many  houses  stood 
vacant  in  the  section  west  of  State  Street,  from  which  Negroes  had  moved 
when  better  houses  became  available  east  of  State  Street.  Into  these  old  and 
frequently  almost  uninhabitable  houses  the  first  newcomers  moved.  Because 
of  its  proximity  to  the  old  vice  area  this  district  had  an  added  undesirabihty 
for  old  Chicagoans.  The  newcomers,  however,  were  unacquainted  with  its 
reputation  and  had  no  hesitancy  about  moving  in  until  better  homes  could 
be  secured.  As  the  number  of  arrivals  increased,  a  scarcity  of  houses  followed, 
creating  a  problem  of  acute  congestion. 

During  the  summer  of  191 7  the  Chicago  Urban  League  made  a  canvass 
of  real  estate  dealers  supplying  houses  for  Negroes,  and  found  that  in  a  single 
day  there  were  664  Negro  appUcants  for  houses,  and  only  fifty  houses  avail- 
able. In  some  instances  as  many  as  ten  persons  were  listed  for  a  single  house. 
This  condition  did  not  continue  long.  There  were  counted  thirty-six  new  neigh- 
borhoods, formerly  white,  opening  up  to  Negroes  within  three  months. 

At  the  same  time  rents  increased  from  5  to  30  and  sometimes  as  much  as 
50  per  cent.  A  more  detailed  study  of  living  conditions  among  the  early  migrants 
in  Chicago  was  made  by  the  Chicago  School  of  Civics  and  Philanthropy. 
The  inquiry  included  seventy-five  families  of  less  than  a  year's  residence. 
In  the  group  were  sixty  married  couples,  128  children,  eight  women,  nine 
married  men  with  families  in  the  South.  Of  these  migrants  forty-five  families 
came  from  rural  and  thirty-two  from  urban  localities.  The  greatest  number, 
twenty-nine,  came  from  Alabama;  twenty-five  were  from  Mississippi,  eleven 
from  Louisiana,  five  from  Georgia,  four  from  Arkansas,  two  from  Tennessee, 
and  one  from  Florida.  Forty-one  of  these  seventy-five  famiUes  were  each 
living  in  one  room.  These  rooms  were  rented  by  the  week,  thus  making  possible 
an  easy  change  of  home  at  the  first  opportunity. 

It  was  at  this  period  that  the  greatest  excitement  over  the  "incoming 
hordes  of  Negroes"  prevailed. 

A  significant  feature  was  the  large  mmiber  of  yoimg  children  found.  The 
age  distribution  of  128  children  in  these  seventy-five  famiUes  was  forty-seven 
under  seven  years,  forty-one  between  seven  and  fourteen  years,  and  forty 
over  fourteen  years. 

Most  of  these  children  were  of  school  age  and  had  come  from  districts  in 
the  South  which  provided  few  school  facilities.  The  parents  were  unaccustomed 
to  the  requirements  of  northern  schools  in  matters  of  discipUne,  attendance, 
and  scholarship.  Considerable  difficulty  was  experienced  by  teachers,  parents, 
and  children  in  these  first  stages  of  adjustment. 





Meeting  actual  conditions  of  life  in  Chicago  brought  its  exaltations  and 
disillusiomnents  to  the  migrants.  These  were  reflected  in  the  schools,  public 
amusement  places,  industry,  and  the  street  cars.  The  Chicago  Urban  League, 
Negro  churches,  and  Negro  newspapers  assumed  the  task  of  making  the 
migrants  into  "city  folk."  The  increase  in  church  membership  indicates 
prompt  efforts  to  re-engage  in  community  life  and  establish  agreeable  and 
helpful  associations.  It  also  reflects  the  persistence  of  reUgious  life  among 
the  migrants.    This  increase  is  shown  in  Table  V. 

Adjustment  to  new  conditions  was  taken  up  by  the  Urban  League  as  its 
principal  work.  Co-operating  with  the  Travelers  Aid  Society,  United  Charities, 
and  other  agencies  of  the  city,  it  met  the  migrants  at  stations  and,  as  far  as 
its  f aciUties  permitted,  secured  Uving  quarters  and  jobs  for  them.  The  churches 
took  them  into  membership  and  attempted  to  make  them  feel  at  home.    Negro 


Increase  in  Membership  dde- 
ING  Migration  Period 








South  Park 


St.  Mark's 

Hyde  Park 






newspapers  pubUshed  instructions  on  dress  and  conduct  and  had  great  influence 
in  smoothing  down  improprieties  of  manner  which  were  likely  to  provoke 
criticism  and  intolerance  in  the  city. 

Individual  experiences  of  the  migrants  in  this  period  of  adjustment  were 
often  interesting.  The  Commission  made  a  special  effort  to  note  these  experi- 
ences for  the  light  they  throw  upon  the  general  process.  Much  of  the  adjust- 
ment was  a  double  process,  including  the  adjustment  of  rural  southern  Negroes 
to  northern  urban  conditions.  It  is  to  be  remembered  that  over  70  per  cent 
of  the  Negro  population  of  the  South  is  rural.  This  means  familiarity  with 
rural  methods,  simple  machinery,  and  plain  habits  of  living.  Farmers  and 
plantation  workers  coming  to  Chicago  had  to  learn  new  tasks.  Skilled  crafts- 
men had  to  relearn  their  trades  when  they  were  thrown  amid  the  highly 
specialized  processes  of  northern  industries.  Domestic  servants  went  into 
industry.  Professional  men  who  followed  their  clientele  had  to  re-estabUsh 
themselves  in  a  new  community.  The  small  business  men  could  not  compete 
with  the  Jewish  merchants,  who  practically  monopolized  the  trade  of  Negroes 
near  their  residential  areas,  or  with  the  "Loop"  stores. 



Many  Negroes  sold  their  homes  and  brought  their  furniture  with  them. 
Reinvesting  in  property  frequently  meant  a  loss;  the  furniture  brought  was 
often  found  to  be  unsuited  to  the  tiny  apartments  or  large,  abandoned  dwelling- 
houses  they  were  able  to  rent  or  buy. 

The  change  of  home  carried  with  it  in  many  cases  a  change  of  status.  The 
leader  in  a  small  southern  community,  when  he  came  to  Chicago,  was  immedi- 
ately absorbed  into  the  struggling  mass  of  unnoticed  workers.  School  teachers, 
male  and  female,  whose  positions  in  the  South  carried  considerable  prestige, 
had  to  go  to  work  in  factories  and  plants  because  the  disparity  in  educational 
standards  would  not  permit  continuance  of  their  profession  in  Chicago. 

These  illustrations  in  Table  VI,  taken  from  family  histories,  show  how 
adjustment  led  to  inferior  occupation. 


Occupation  in  South 

Occupation  on  First  Arrival 
in  Chicago 

Occupation  One  or  More 
Years  Later 

Display  man  on  furniture 


Laborer  in  factory 

Stone  mason 

Laborer  in  coal  yard 

Laborer  in  Stock  Yards 

Proprietor  of  cafe 


Elevator  man 


Laborer  in  Stock  Yards 

Laborer  in  Stock  Yards 

Coal  miner 

Porter  in  tailoring  shop 


Proprietor  of  boarding-house 


Laborer  in  Stock  Yards 


Factory  worker 

Factory  worker 




Hotel  waiter 


Porter  in  factory 


Laborer  in  Stock  Yards 

Laborer  in  steel  mill 



Laborer  in  livery  stable 


Stationary  fireman 

Laborer  in  Stock  Yards 





Laborer  in  cement  factory 

Laborer  in  Stock  Yards 




Office  boy 


Laborer  in  Stock  Yards 

The  following  experiences  of  one  or  two  famiUes  from  the  many  histories 
gathered,  while  not  enturely  typical  of  all  the  migrants,  contain  features 
common  to  all: 

The  Thomas  family. — ^Mr.  Thomas,  his  wife  and  two  children,  a  girl  nineteen 
and  a  boy  seventeen,  came  to  Chicago  from  Seals,  Alabama,  in  the  spring  of  1917. 


After  a  futile  search,  the  family  rented  rooms  for  the  first  week.  This  was  expensive 
and  inconvenient,  and  between  working  hours  aU  sought  a  house  into  which  they 
could  take  their  furniture.  They  finally  found  a  five-room  flat  on  Federal  Street. 
The  bunding  had  been  considered  uninhabitable  and  dangerous.  Three  of  the  five 
rooms  were  almost  totally  dark.  The  plumbing  was  out  of  order.  There  was  no 
bath,  and  the  toilet  was  outside  of  the  house.  There  was  neither  electricity  nor  gas, 
and  the  family  used  oil  lamps.  The  rent  was  $i  s  per  month.  Although  the  combined 
income  of  the  family  could  easily  have  made  possible  a  better  house,  they  could  find 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Thomas  were  farmers  in  the  South.  On  the  farm  Mrs.  Thomas 
did  the  work  of  a  man  along  with  her  husband.  Both  are  illiterate.  The  daughter 
had  reached  the  fourth  grade  and  the  boy  the  fifth  grade  in  school.  At  home  they 
belonged  to  a  church  and  various  fraternal  orders  and  took  part  in  rural  community  life. 

On  their  arrival  in  Chicago  they  were  short  of  funds.  Father  and  son  went  to 
work  at  the  Stock  Yards.  Although  they  had  good  jobs  they  found  their  income 
insufficient;  the  girl  went  to  work  in  a  laundry,  and  the  mother  worked  as  a  laundress 
through  the  first  winter  for  $i  a  day.  She  later  discovered  that  she  was  working  for 
half  the  regular  rate  for  laundry  work.  Soon  she  went  back  to  housekeeping  to  reduce 
the  food  biU. 

Alt  the  family  were  timid  and  self-conscious  and  for  a  long  time  avoided  contacts, 
thus  depriving  themselves  of  helpful  suggestions.  The  children  became  ashamed  of 
the  manners  of  then:  parents  and  worked  diligently  to  correct  their  manner  of  speech. 
The  children  attended  Wendell  Phillips  night  school  in  the  hope  of  improving  their 
community  status. 

The  freedom  and  independence  of  Negroes  in  the  North  have  been  a  constant 
novelty  to  them  and  many  times  they  have  been  surprised  that  they  were  ''not 
noticed  enough  to  be  mistreated."  They  have  tried  out  various  amusement  places, 
parks,  ice-cream  parlors,  and  theaters  near  their  home  on  the  South  Side  and  have 
enjoyed  them  because  they  were  denied  these  opportunities  in  their  former  home. 

The  combined  income  of  this  family  is  $65  a  week,  and  their  rent  is  now  low. 
Many  of  their  old  habits  have  been  preserved  because  of  the  isolation  in  which  they 
have  lived  and  because  they  have  not  been  able  to  move  into  better  housing. 

The  Jones  family. — Mr.  Jones,  his  wife,  a  six-year-old  son,  and  a  nephew  aged 
twenty-one,  came  from  Texas  early  in  1919.  Although  they  arrived  after  the  heaviest 
migration,  they  experienced  the  same  difficulties  as  earlier  comers. 

They  searched  for  weeks  for  a  suitable  house.  At  first  they  secured  one  room 
on  the  South  Side  in  a  rooming-house,  where  they  were  obliged  to  provide  gas,  coal, 
linen,  bedding,  and  part  of  the  furniture.  After  a  few  weeks  they  got  two  rooms  for 
light  housekeeping,  for  |io  a  month.  The  associations  as  well  as  the  physical  condi- 
tion of  the  house  were  intolerable.  They  then  rented  a  flat  on  Carroll  Avenue  in 
another  section.  The  building  was  old  and  run  down.  The  agent  for  the  property, 
to  induce  tenants  to  occupy  it,  had  promised  to  dean  and  decorate  it,  but  failed 
to  keep  his  word.  When  the  Jones  family  asked  the  owner  to  make  repairs,  he  refused 
flatly  and  was  exceedingly  abusive. 

Finally  Jones  located  a  house  on  the  West  Side  that  was  much  too  large  for  his 
family,  and  the  rent  too  high.  They  were  forced  to  take  lodgers  to  aid  in  paying  the 
rent.    This  was  against  the  desire  of  Mrs.  Jones,  who  did  not  like  to  have  strangers 


in  her  house.  The  house  has  six  rooms  and  bath  and  is  in  a  state  of  dilapidation. 
Mr.  Jones  has  been  forced  to  cover  the  holes  in  the  floor  with  tin  to  keep  out  the  rats. 
The  plumbing  is  bad.  During  the  winter  there  is  no  running  water,  and  the  agent 
for  the  building  refuses  to  clean  more  than  three  rooms  or  to  furnish  screens  or  storm 
doors  or  to  pay  for  any  plumbing.  In  the  back  yard  under  the  house  is  an  accumula- 
tion of  ashes,  tin  cans,  and  garbage  left  by  a  long  series  of  previous  tenants.  There 
is  no  alley  back  of  the  house,  and  all  of  the  garbage  from  the  back  yard  must  be  carried 
out  through  the  front.  Jones  made  a  complaint  about  insanitary  conditions  to  the 
Health  Department,  and  the  house  was  inspected,  but  so  far  nothing  has  been  done. 
It  was  difficidt  to  induce  the  agent  to  supply  garbage  cans. 

Jones  had  reached  the  eighth  grade,  and  Mrs.  Jones  had  completed  the  first 
year  of  high  school.  The  nephew  had  finished  public-school  grades  provided  in  his 
home  town  and  had  been  taught  the  boiler  trade.  He  is  now  pursuing  this  trade 
in  hope  of  securing  sufficient  funds  to  complete  his  course  in  Conroe  College,  where 
he  has  already  finished  the  first  year.  The  boy  of  six  was  placed  in  a  West  Side 
school.  He  was  removed  from  this  school,  however,  and  sent  back  south  to  Uve 
with  Mrs.  Jones's  mother  and  attend  school  there.  Mrs.  Jones  thought  that  the 
influence  of  the  school  children  of  Chicago  was  not  good  for  him.  He  had  been  almost 
blinded  by  a  blow  from  a  baseball  bat  in  the  hands  of  one  of  several  older  boys  who 
continually  annoyed  him.  The  child  had  also  learned  vulgar  language  from  his 
school  associates. 

The  Jones  family  were  leading  citizens  in  their  southern  home.  They  were 
members  of  a  Baptist  church,  local  clubs,  and  a  missionary  society,  while  Jones  was 
a  member  and  officer  in  the  Knights  of  Tabor,  Masons,  and  Odd  Fellows.  They 
owned  their  home  and  two  other  pieces  of  property  in  the  same  town,  one  of  which 
brought  in  $20  a  month.  As  a  boUer-maker,  he  earned  about  $50  a  week,  which  is 
about  the  same  as  his  present  income.  Their  motive  in  coming  to  Chicago  was  to 
escape  from  the  undesirable  practices  and  customs  of  the  South. 

They  had  been  told  that  no  discrimination  was  practiced  against  Negroes  in 
Chicago;  that  they  could  go  where  they  pleased  without  the  embarrassment  or  hin- 
drance because  of  their  color.  Accordingly,  when  they  first  came  to  Chicago,  they 
went  into  drug-stores  and  restaurants.  They  were  refused  service  in  numbers  of 
restaurants  and  at  the  refreshment  counters  in  some  drug-stores.  The  family  has 
begun  the  re-estabhshment  of  its  community  life,  having  joined  a  West  Side  Baptist 
church  and  taking  an  active  interest  in  local  organizations,  particularly  the  Wendell 
Phillips  Social  Settlement.  The  greatest  satisfaction  of  the  Joneses  comes  from  the 
"escape  from  Jim  Crow  conditions  and  segregation"  and  the  securing  of  improved 
conditions  of  work,  although  there  is  no  difference  in  the  wages. 


Migrants  have  been  visited  in  their  homes,  and  met  in  industry,  in  the 
schools,  and  in  contacts  on  street  cars  and  in  parks.  Efforts  have  been  made 
to  learn  why  they  came  to  Chicago  and  with  what  success  they  were  adjusting 
themselves  to  their  new  surroundings. 

Some  of  the  replies  to  questions  asked  are  given: 
Question:  Why  did  you  come  to  Chicago  ? 



1.  Looking  for  better  wages. 

2.  So  I  could  support  my  family. 

3.  Tired  of  being  a  flunky. 

4.  I  just  happened  to  drift  here. 

5.  Some  of  my  people  were  here. 

6.  Persuaded  by  friends. 

7.  Wanted  to  make  more  money  so  I  could  go  into  business;  couldn't  do  it  in 
the  South. 

8.  To  earn  more  money. 

9.  For  better  wages. 

10.  Wanted  to  change  and  come  to  the  North. 

11.  Came  to  get  more  money  for  work. 

12.  To  better  my  conditions. 

13.  Better  conditions. 

14.  Better  conditions. 

15.  Better  Uving. 

16.  More  work;  came  on  visit  and  stayed. 

17.  Wife  persuaded  me. 

18.  To  estabhsh  a  church. 

19.  Tired  of  the  South. 

20.  To  get  away  from  the  South,  and  to  earn  more  money. 

Question:  Do  you  feel  greater  freedom  and  independence  in  Chicago  ?    In  what  ways  ? 

1.  Yes.    Working  conditions  and  the  places  of  amusement. 

2.  Yes.    The  chance  to  make  a  Uving;    conditions  on  the  street  cars  and  in 

3.  Going  into  places  of  amusement  and  living  in  good  neighborhoods. 

4.  Yes.    Educationally,  and  in  the  home  conditions. 

5.  Yes.    Go  anywhere  you  want  to  go;  voting;  don't  have  to  look  up  to  the 
white  man,  get  off  the  street  for  him,  and  go  to  the  buzzard  roost  at  shows. 

6.  Yes.    Just  seem  to  feel  a  general  feeling  of  good-fellowship. 

7.  On  the  street  cars  and  the  way  you  are  treated  where  you  work. 

8.  Yes.    Can  go  any  place  I  like  here.    At  home  I  was  segregated  and  not 
treated  like  I  had  any  rights. 

9.  Yes.    Privilege  to  mingle  with  people;   can  go  to  the  parks  and  places  of 
amusement,  not  being  segregated. 

10.  Yes.    Feel  free  to  do  anything  I  please.    Not  dictated  to  by  white  people. 

11.  Yes.  Had  to  take  any  treatment  white  people  offered  me  there,  compelled 
to  say  "yes  ma'am"  or  "yes  sir"  to  white  people,  whether  you  desired  to 
or  not.  If  you  went  to  an  ice  cream  parlor  for  anything  you  came  outside 
to  eat  it.    Got  off  sidewalk  for  white  people. 

12.  Yes.    Can  vote;  feel  free;  haven't  any  fear;  make  more  money. 

13.  Yes.    Voting;  better  opportunity  for  work;  more  respect  from  white  people. 

14.  Yes.  Can  vote;  no  lynching;  no  fear  of  mobs;  can  express  my  opinion  and 
defend  myself. 

15.  Yes.  Voting,  more  privileges;  white  people  treat  me  better,  not  as  much 


16.  Yes.    Feel  more  like  a  man.    Same  as  slavery,  in  a  way,  at  home.    I  don't 
have  to  give  up  the  sidewalk  here  for  white  people  as  in  my  former  home. 

17.  Yes.    No  restrictions  as  to  shows,  schools,  etc.    More  protection  of  law. 

18.  Yes.    Have  more  privileges  and  more  money. 

19.  Yes.    More  able  to  express  views  on  all  questions.    No  segregation  or 

20.  Sure.    Feel  more  freedom.    Was  not  counted  in  the  South;  colored  people 
allowed  no  freedom  at  all  in  the  South. 

21.  Find  things  quite  different  to  what  they  are  at  home.    Haven't  become 
accustomed  to  the  place  yet. 

Question:  What  were  your  first  impressions  of  Chicago  ? 

1.  I  liked  the  air  of  doing  things  here. 

2.  A  place  of  real  opportunity  if  you  would  work. 

3.  Place  just  fuU  of  Ufe.    Went  to  see  the  sights  every  night  for  a  month. 

4.  I  thought  it  was  some  great  place  but  found  out  it  wasn't.  Uncle  told  me 
he  was  living  on  Portland  Avenue,  that  it  was  some  great  avenue;  found 
nothing  but  a  mud  hole.    I  sure  wished  I  was  back  home. 

S-  When  I  got  here  and  got  on  the  street  cars  and  saw  colored  people  sitting 
by  white  people  all  over  the  car  I  just  held  my  breath,  for  I  thought  any 
minute  they  would  start  something,  then  I  saw  nobody  noticed  it,  and  I  just 
thought  this  was  a  real  place  for  colored  people.  No,  indeed,  I'll  never 
work  in  anybody's  kitchen  but  my  own,  any  more,  that's  the  one  thing  that 
makes  me  stick  to  this  job. 

6.  Was  completely  lost,  friend  was  to  meet  me  but  didn't  and  I  was  afraid  to 
ask  anyone  where  to  go;  finally  my  friend  came;  was  afraid  to  sleep  first 
night — so  much  noise;  thought  the  cars  would  finally  stop  running  so  I 
could  rest. 

7.  Liked  the  place. 

8.  Always  Kked  Chicago,  even  the  name  before  I  came. 
g.  Liked  it  fine. 

10.  Good  city  for  colored  people. 

11.  Fine  city. 

12.  Thought  it  the  best  place  for  colored  people. 

13.  Thought  it  a  good  place  for  colored  people  to  live  in. 

14.  Very  favorable,  thought  it  the  place  to  be  for  myself  and  family. 

15.  Didn't  like  it;  lonesome,  until  I  went  out.  Then  liked  the  places  of  amuse- 
ment which  have  no  restrictions. 

16.  Liked  it  fine,  like  it  even  better  now. 

17.  Liked  Chicago  from  the  first  visit  made  two  years  ago;  was  not  satisfied 
until  I  was  able  to  get  back. 

18.  Think  I  will  like  it  later  on. 

Question:  In  what  respects  is  life  harder  or  easier  here  than  in  the  South  ? 

1.  Easier.    I  don't  have  to  work  so  hard  and  get  more  money. 

2.  Easier  in  that  here  my  wife  doesn't  have  to  work.  I  just  couldn't  make  it 
by  myself  in  the  South. 

3.  Living  is  much  easier;  chance  to  learn  a  trade.    I  make  and  save  more  money. 


4.  Easier,  you  can  make  more  money  and  it  means  more  to  you. 

5.  Easier  to  make  a  living  here. 

6.  Easier,  I  get  more  money  for  my  work  and  have  some  spare  time. 

7.  Have  better  home,  but  have  to  work  harder.    I  make  more  money,  but 
spend  it  all  to  live. 

8.  Have  more  time  to  rest  here  and  don't  work  as  hard. 

9.  Find  it  easier  to  live  because  I  have  more  to  live  on. 

10.  Earn  more  money;  the  strain  is  not  so  great  wondering  from  day  to  day 
how  to  make  a  little  money  do. 

11.  Work  harder  here  than  at  home. 

12.  Easier.    Work  is  hard,  but  hours  are  short.    I  make  more  money  and  can 
live  better. 

13.  More  money  for  work,  though  work  is  harder.    Better  able  to  buy  the  neces- 
sities of  life. 

14.  Easier;  more  work  and  more  money  and  shorter  hours. 

15.  Living  higher,  but  woidd  rather  be  here  than  in  South.    I  have  shorter 
hours  here. 

16.  Don't  have  to  work  as  hard  here  as  at  home.    Have  more  time  for  rest  and 
to  spend  with  family. 

17.  Easier  to  Uve  in  St.  Louis.    More  work  here  and  better  wages.    Living 
higher  here.    Saved  more  there. 

18.  Must  work  very  hard  here,  much  harder  than  at  home. 

19.  Harder  because  of  increased  cost  of  living. 

20.  The  entire  family  feels  that  Ufe  is  much  easier  here  than  at  home.    Do  not 
find  work  as  hard  anjrwhere. 

Question:  What  do  you  like  about  the  North  ? 

1.  Freedom  in  voting  and  conditions  of  colored  people  here.  I  mean  you  can 
Uve  in  good  houses;  men  here  get  a  chance  to  go  with  the  best-looking  girls 
in  the  race;  some  may  do  it  in  Memphis,  but  it  ain't  always  safe. 

2.  Freedom  and  chance  to  make  a  living;  privileges. 

3.  Freedom  and  opportunity  to  acquire  something. 

4.  Freedom  allowed  in  every  way. 

5.  More  money  and  more  pleasure  to  be  gotten  from  it;  personal  freedom 
Chicago  affords,  and  voting. 

6.  Freedom  and  working  conditions. 

7.  Work,  can  work  any  place,  freedom. 

8.  The  schools  for  the  children,  the  better  wages,  and  the  privileges  for  colored 

9.  The  chance  colored  people  have  to  Uve;  privileges  allowed  them  and  better 

10.  The  friendliness  of  the  people,  the  climate  which  makes  health  better. 

11.  Like  the  privileges,  the  climate;  have  better  health. 

12.  No  discrimination;  can  express  opinion  and  vote. 

13 .  Freedom  of  speech ,  right  to  live  and  work  as  other  races.   Higher  pay  for  labor. 

14.  Freedom;  privileges;  treatment  of  whites;    ability  to  live  in  peace;  not 
held  down. 


IS-  Freedom  of  speech  and  action.    Can  live  without  fear,  no  Jim  Crow. 
i6.  More  enjoyment;    more  places  of  attraction;    better  treatment;    better 
schools  for  children. 

17.  Liberty,  better  schools. 

18.  I  like  the  North  for  wages  earned  and  better  homes  colored  people  can  live 
in  and  go  more  places  than  at  home. 

19.  Privileges,  freedom,  industrial  and  educational  facilities. 

20.  The  people,  the  freedom  and  liberty  colored  people  enjoy  here  that  they  never 
before  experienced.    Even  the  ways  of  the  people  are  better  than  at  home. 

21.  Haven't  found  anything  yet  to  like,  except  wife  thinks  she  will  like  the 
opportunity  of  earning  more  money  than  ever  before. 

Question:  What  difficulties  do  you  think  a  person  from  the  South  meets  in  coming  to 

Chicago  ? 

1.  Getting  used  to  climate  and  houses. 

2.  Getting  accustomed  to  cold  weather  and  flats. 

3.  Getting  used  to  living  conditions  and  make  more  money;   not  letting  the 
life  here  run  away  with  you. 

4.  Adjusting  myself  to  the  weather  and  flat  life:    rooming  and  "closeness" 
of  the  houses. 

5.  Getting  used  to  flat  conditions  and  crowded  houses. 

6.  Getting  used  to  living  in  flats,  and  growing  accustomed  to  being  treated  like 

7.  Getting  used  to  the  ways  of  the  people;   not  speaking  or  being  friendly; 
colder  weather,  hard  on  people  from  the  South. 

8.  Just  the  treatment  some  of  the  white  people  give  you  on  the  trains.    Some- 
times treat  you  like  dogs. 

9.  Know  of  no  difficulties  a  person  from  the  South  meets  coming  to  Chicago. 

10.  I  didn't  meet  any  difficulties  coming  from  the  South.  Know  of  none  persons 
would  likely  meet. 

11.  Can  think  of  no  difficulties  persons  meet  coming  from  the  South  to  Chicago. 

12.  Adjustment  to  working  conditions  and  climate. 

13.  Climatic  changes. 

14.  Change  in  climate,  crowded  bVing  conditions,  lack  of  space  for  gardens,  etc. 

15.  Change  in  climate,  crowded  housing  conditions. 

16.  Coming  without  knowing  where  they  are  going  to  stop  usually  causes  some 
difficulty.  Get  in  with  wrong  people  who  seek  to  take  advantage  of  the 
ignorance  of  newcomers. 

17.  Becoming  adjusted  to  climate. 

18.  If  they  know  where  they  are  going,  when  they  come  here.  The  danger  lies 
in  getting  among  the  wrong  class  of  people. 

ig.  Adjustment  to  city  customs,  etc. 

20.  If  persons  know  where  they  are  going  and  what  they  are  going  to  do,  wUl 
not  have  any  trouble.  Must  come  with  the  intention  of  working  or  else 
expect  many  difficulties. 

21.  Know  of  no  difficulties. 

Question:  Do  you  get  more  comforts  and  pleasures  from  your  higher  wages  ? 



1.  Yes.  Better  homes,  places  of  amusement,  and  the  buying  of  your  clothes 
here.  You  can  try  on  things;  you  can  do  that  in  some  stores  in  Memphis, 
but  not  in  all. 

2.  Yes.  Living  in  better  houses,  can  go  into  almost  any  place  if  you  have  the 
money,  and  then  the  schools  are  so  much  better  here. 

3.  Yes.    I  Uve  better,  save  more,  and  feel  more  like  a  man. 

4.  Yes.  I  can  buy  more,  my  wife  can  have  her  clothes  fitted  here,  she  can 
try  on  a  hat,  and  if  she  doesn't  want  it  she  doesn't  have  to  keep  it;  go 
anywhere  I  please  on  the  cars  after  I  pay  my  fare;  I  can  do  any  sort  of 
work  I  know  how  to  do. 

5.  Yes.  Go  anywhere  I  please,  buy  what  I  please;  ain't  afraid  to  get  on  cars 
and  sit  where  I  please. 

6.  Well,  I  make  more  money.  I  can't  save  anything  from  it.  There  are  so 
many  places  to  go  here,  but  down  South  you  work,  work,  work,  and  you 
have  to  save,  for  you  haven't  any  place  to  spend  it. 

7.  Yes.  Better  homes.  Spend  money  anjrwhere  you  want  to,  go  anywhere 
you  have  money  enough  to  go;  don't  go  out  very  much  but  like  to  know 
I  can  where  and  when  I  want  to. 

8.  Have  chance  to  make  more  money,  but  it  is  all  spent  to  keep  family  up. 

9.  At  home  did  not  earn  much  money  and  did  not  have  any  left  to  go  what 
few  places  colored  people  were  allowed  to  go.  Here,  Negroes  can  have 
whatever  they  want. 

10.  Don't  have  to  worry  about  how  you  are  going  to  live.  More  money  earned 
affords  anything  wanted. 

11.  Have  more  comforts  in  the  home  that  could  not  have  at  home;  more  con- 
veniences here.    Wages  sons  earn  make  it  possible  to  have  aJl  that  is  wanted. 

12.  Yes.    Better  houses  and  more  enjoyment. 

13.  Yes.  I  live  in  larger  house  and  have  more  conveniences.  Can  take  more 
pleasure;  have  more  leisure  time. 

14.  Yes.  Better  houses  and  more  amusement.  More  time  of  my  own,  better 
furniture  and  food. 

15.  Yes.  Better  houses  and  furniture.  More  pleasures  because  of  shorter 
hours  of  work,  giving  me  more  time. 

16.  What  little  was  earned  at  home  was  used  for  food  and  clothing.  Here, 
earn  more,  have  more  to  spend;  now  and  then  put  some  in  the  bank,  and 
can  spend  some  for  pleasure  without  strain  or  inconvenience. 

17.  Yes.  More  places  to  go,  ptarks  and  playgrounds  for  children,  and  no  differ- 
ence made  between  white  and  colored.    Houses  more  convenient  here. 

18.  Have  more  money  to  spend  but  when  you  have  to  hve  in  houses  where 
landlord  won't  fix  up  you  can't  have  much  comfort.  Go  no  place  for  pleasure, 
but  enjoy  the  chance  of  earning  more  money. 

19.  No  comment. 

20.  Have  money  to  get  whatever  is  desired.  Live  in  a  better  house  and  can  go 
places  denied  at  home.  All  the  family  are  perfectly  satisfied  and  are  happier 
than  they  have  ever  been. 

21.  Live  in  better  house  than  ever  lived  in.  Never  had  the  comforts  furnished 
here.  Some  houses  there  had  no  water  closets;  only  had  cistern  and  wells 
out  in  the  yard. 


Question:  Are  you  advising  friends  to  come  to  Chicago  ? 

1.  Yes.  People  down  there  don't  really  believe  the  things  we  write  back, 
I  didn't  believe  myself  until  I  got  here. 

2.  No.  I'am  not  going  to  encourage  them  to  come,  for  they  might  not  make  it, 
then  I  would  be  blamed. 

3.  Yes.    If  I  think  they  wiU  work. 

4.  Some  of  them,  those  who  I  think  would  appreciate  the  advantages  here. 

5.  No.  Not  right  now,  come  here  and  get  to  work,  strikes  come  along,  they're 
out  of  work.     Come  if  they  want  to,  though. 

6.  Yes.  I  have  two  sisters  still  in  Lexington.  I  am  trying  to  get  them  to 
come  up  here.  They  can't  understand  why  I  stay  here,  but  they'll  see  if 
they  come. 

7.  Yes.  People  here  don't  realize  how  some  parts  of  the  South  treat  colored 
folks;  poor  white  trash  were  awful  mean  where  we  came  from;  wish  all  the 
colored  folks  would  come  up  here  where  you  ain't  afraid  to  breathe. 

8.  Yes.  Want  friend  and  husband  to  come;  also  sister  and  family  who  want 
her  to  come  back  that  they  may  see  how  she  looks  before  they  break  up  and 
come.  Yoimgest  son  begs  mother  never  to  think  of  going  back  South. 
Oldest  son  not  so  well  satisfied  when  first  came,  but  since  he  is  working, 
likes  it  a  little  better. 

Only  a  few  migrants  were  found  who  came  on  free  transportation,  and  many 
of  these  had  friends  in  Chicago  before  they  came.  Few  expressed  a  desire  to 


The  withdrawal  of  great  mmibers  of  Negroes,  both  because  of  the  migration 
and  because  of  military  service,  left  large  gaps  in  the  industries  of  the  South 
dependent  upon  Negro  labor.  Thousands  of  acres  of  rice  and  sugar  cane 
went  to  waste.  The  turpentine  industry  of  the  Carolinas  and  the  milling 
interests  of  Tennessee  were  hard  pressed  for  labor.  Cotton-growing  was 
much  affected,  especially  in  the  delta  region  of  Mississippi.  The  situation 
became  critical,  presenting  a  real  economic  problem.  Organized  efforts  were 
made,  and  at  times  extreme  measures  were  taken,  to  start  a  return  movement. 
A  report  was  circulated  that  on  one  day  in  the  winter  of  1919  in  Chicago, 
17,000  Negroes  were  counted  in  a  bread  line.  The  "horrors  of  northern 
winters"  were  played  up  as  they  had  been  during  the  migration. 

The  press  throughout  the  country  was  used  to  spread  broadcast  the 
South's  needs,  its  kind  treatment  of  Negroes,  its  opportunities,  and  its  growing 
change  of  heart  on  the  question  of  race  relations.  Newspaper  articles  from 
sections  of  the  North  and  South  carried  about  the  same  story.  The  Chicago 
Tribune  said  in  a  conspicuous  headline:  "Louisiana  Wants  Negroes  to  Return." 
Other  such  headlines  were:  Washington  Post — "South  Needs  Negroes.  Try 
to  Get  Labor  for  Their  Cotton  Fields.  Tell  of  Kind  Treatment";  New  York 
Everdng  Sun — "To  Aid  Negro  Return";  Philadelphia  Press — "South  Is 
Urging  Negroes  to  Return.    Many  Districts  Willing  to  Pay  Fare  of  Those 


Who  Come  Back";  Memphis  Commercial  Appeal — "South  Is  Best  for  Negro, 
Say  Mississippians.     Colored  People  Found  Prosperous  and  Happy." 

Though  such  reports  were  widely  circulated  throughout  the  North,  the 
actual  efforts  of  agencies  from  the  South  seeking  the  return  of  Negro  labor 
centered  around  Chicago.  This  was  due  largely  to  the  fact  that  from  the 
southern  states  most  acutely  in  need  the  drift  during  the  migration  had  been 
to  Chicago,  and  because  the  increase  of  Chicago's  Negro  population  had  been 
so  great. 

Immediately  following  the  riots  in  Chicago  and  Washington,  rumors 
gained  wide  currency  that  hundreds  of  migrants  were  leaving  for  sections  of 
the  South.  So  strong  was  the  beUef  in  the  truth  of  this  report  that  a  Chicago 
newspaper  telegraphed  the  governors  of  southern  states  inquiring  the  number 
of  Negroes  they  needed.  Agents  of  the  South,  including  representatives  of 
the  Tennessee  Association  of  Commerce,  the  Department  of  Immigration  of 
Louisiana,  the  Mississippi  Welfare  League,  and  the  Southern  Alluvial  Land 
Association,  visited  northern  cities  with  a  view  to  providing  means  for  the 
return  of  Negroes.  Although  free  transportation  was  offered,  together  with 
promises  of  increased  wages  and  better  living  conditions,  the  various  commis- 
sions were  disappointed. 

Their  interviews  with  Negroes  living  in  Chicago  revealed  a  determi- 
nation not  to  retiurn  to  conditions  they  had  left  two  years  before.  To  offset 
this  objection,  two  Chicago  Negroes  and  one  white  man  were  taken  to 
Mississippi  by  a  representative  of  the  Mississippi  Welfare  League  to  make  an 
investigation.  They  visited  several  delta  towns,  traveUng  for  the  most  part 
in  automobiles  and  interviewing  farmers  and  laborers.  They  reported  in 
substance  as  f oUows : 

Railroad  accommodations  for  Negroes  were  adequate  and  uniform,  irrespective 
of  locality;  treatment  accorded  Negro  passengers  by  railroad  officials  was  courteous 
throughout.  Public-school  terms  were  nine  months  in  the  city  and  eight  months 
in  the  country  for  white  and  colored  alike,   and  the  strongest  possible  human  ties 

between  planter  and  worker  exist In  no  instance  were  Negroes  not  given  the 

freest  use  of  sidewalks,  streets,  and  thoroughfares  and  we  were  unable  to  find  any 
trace  of  friction  of  any  kind  between  the  races. 

An  effort  was  then  made  by  the  Chicago  Urban  League  to  ascertain  the 
precise  state  of  affairs.  Its  southern  representative  questioned  hundreds  of 
Negroes  living  in  the  South,  regarding  improved  relationships.  Answers  to 
this  query  were  all  about  the  same.    Some  of  them  are, quoted: 

There  has  been  no  change.  Lincoln  League  organized  in  this  city  has  been 
denounced  by  the  white  newspapers  as  a  movement  that  will  cause  trouble,  and  the 
National  Association  for  the  Advancement  of  Colored  People,  and  the  Urban  Leagues 
of  various  cities  have  been  called  "strife  breeders  and  meddlers  in  southern  afEairs"; 
Jim  Crow  accommodations  are  just  the  same  as  ever.  If  there  is  any  change  for  the 
better,  I  can't  see  it. 


It  is  ridiculous  for  any  Negro  to  say  he  finds  conditions  better  here.  Don't 
you  remember  that  Negroes  answering  an  invitation  to  meet  the  Welfare  Committee 
of  white  men  not  long  ago  were  told  as  soon  as  they  got  into  the  meeting  place  that 
the  Committee  was  ready  to  hear  what  Negroes  wanted,  but  that  the  question  of  the 
Negro's  right  to  exercise  the  right  of  voting  would  not  be  allowed  to  be  discussed  at 
all,  and  that  that  must  be  agreed  to  before  any  discussion  whatever  would  be  enter- 
tained, and  that  the  Negroes  left  the  meeting  place  without  a  chance  to  demand  the 
one  thing  they  wished  to  enjoy  ? 

Some  deceitful,  lying  Negro  may  say  that  times  are  better,  but  he  would,  at  the 
same  time,  know  that  he  was  not  telling  the  truth.  Haven't  you  been  hearing  more 
reports  of  lynching  of  Negroes  than  you  ever  did  in  your  life,  since  the  war  ?  Where, 
then,  is  there  any  improvement  ?  Ain't  all  the  judges,  all  the  police  and  constables, 
all  the  juries  as  white  man  as  ever  ?  Does  the  word  of  a  Negro  count  for  more  now 
than  it  did  before  the  war  ?  Don't  white  men  insult  our  wives  and  daughters  and 
sisters  and  get  off  at  it,  unless  we  take  the  law  into  our  own  hand  and  punish  them 
for  it  ourselves,  and  get  lynched  for  protecting  our  own,  just  as  often  as  ever  ?  How 
much  more  schooling  from  pubhc  funds  do  our  children  get  now  than  they  got  before 
the  war  ?  How  much  more  do  we  have  to  say  now  than  we  had  to  say  before  the  war 
about  the  way  the  taxes  we  pay  shall  be  spent  for  schools,  or  for  salaries,  or  for  anything 
connected  with  administration  and  government?  Why,  even  the  colored  man  in 
Caddo  parish  who  subscribed  for  $100,000  in  Liberty  bonds  and  bought  lots  of  War 
Savings  stamps,  and  others  who  bought  less,  but  in  the  hundreds,  and  thousands  of 
the  bonds  and  War  Saving  stamps,  have  no  more  to  say  about  affairs  now  than  they 
ever  had.    Where  is  the  improvement  ? 

The  Urban  League  also  made  an  inquiry  into  the  numbers  of  Negroes  leav- 
ing and  arriving  in  the  week  following  the  riot,  and  when  the  strongest  efforts 
were  being  made  to  induce  a  return  of  migrants.  During  this  period  261 
Negroes  came  to  Chicago  and  219  left  the  city.  Of  the  219  leaving,  eighty- 
three  gave  some  southern  state  as  their  destination.  For  the  most  part,  they 
were  persons  returning  from  vacations  in  the  North,  and  Chicago  Negroes 
going  South  to  visit  or  on  business.  Some  were  rejoining  their  families. 
Fourteen  were  leaving  because  of  the  riot.  None,  however,  indicated  any 
intention  of  going  South  to  work. 

It  is  clear  that  migrant  Negroes  are  not  returning  South.  On  the  contrary, 
there  is  a  small  but  continuous  stream  of  migration  to  the  industrial  centers 
of  the  North.  No  great  number  of  Negroes  returned  to  the  South  even  during 
the  trjdng  unemployment  period  in  the  early  part  of  1921.  Census  figures 
for  Chicago  for  1920  show  a  number  much  smaller  than  the  usual  estimates 
of  the  size  of  the  Negro  population  during  the  period  of  the  heaviest  migration. 
This  may  be  accounted  for  by  the  fact  that  Chicago  has  been  used  as  a 
re-routing  point  to  other  northern  cities.  The  decrease  from  1918  undoubtedly 
means  that  some  returned  to  the  South,  but  it  is  apparent  that  the  great 
majority  of  the  migrants  remain,  despite  the  hardships  attending  shortage  of 



The  Negro  population  of  Chicago,  as  reported  by  the  Federal  Bureau  of 
the  Census,  was  44,103  in  1910  and  109,594  in  1920.  The  increase  during  the 
decade  was  therefore  65,491,  or  148.5  per  cent.  Negroes  constituted  2  per 
cent  of  the  city's  total  population  in  1910  and  4.1  per  cent  in  1920.  The 
increase  in  the  white  population  during  the  decade  was  450,047,  or  21  per  cent, 
bringing  the  white  population  up  to  2,589,104  in  1920.  The  remainder  of 
the  population  consisted  of  3,007  Chinese,  Japanese,  and  Indians,  of  whom 
there  were  2,123  in  1910.     Chicago's  total  population  in  1920  was  2,701,705. 

In  order  to  indicate  where  the  Negro  population  of  the  city  lived  in  19 10 
and  in  1920,  the  Commission  sought  the  co-operation  of  the  Census  Bureau. 
On  the  basis  of  a  rough  preliminary  survey,  certain  areas  iu  which  it  was 
evident  that  the  main  groups  of  Negroes  lived  were  delimited,  and  Uberal 
margins  allowed  to  include  scattered  residents  hving  near  the  main  areas. 
For  these  areas  the  Census  Bureau  supplied  figures  showing  the  total  and 
Negro  population  by  census-enumeration  districts.  Since  each  enumeration 
district  embraced  from  one  or  two  to  six  city  blocks  in  the  more  crowded 
portions  of  the  city,  the  data  thus  made  available  enabled  the  Commission 
to  prepare  maps  showiag  with  a  fair  degree  of  accuracy  where  Negroes  in 
Chicago  lived  in  1910  and  in  1920,  and  also  their  proportion  to  the  total 
population  in  these  units  of  area. 

The  5T0  enumeration  districts  covered  for  1910  included  40,739,  or  92.3 
per  cent  of  the  44,103  Negroes  reported  by  the  Census  Bureau  for  that  year; 
and  the  730  enimieration  districts  covered  for  1920  included  106,089,  or  96.8 
per  cent  of  the  109,594  Negroes  reported  for  that  year.  The  small  remaining 
number  of  Negroes  scattered  throughout  the  parts  of  the  city  not  embraced 
in  these  areas  in  1910  and  1920  included  many  janitors  living  in  the  buildings 
where  they  worked,  and  others  employed  in  private  homes  and  living  on  the 
premises,  thus  making  their  presence  inconspicuous  among  white  residents. 
The  areas  in  which  40,739  Negroes  were  living  in  1910  contained  a  total  popula- 
tion of  657,044,  the  Negroes  thus  constituting  6.2  per  cent  of  the  total.  The 
areas  in'  which  106,089  Negroes  lived  in  1920  contained  a  total  population  of 
779,279,  the  Negroes  thus  constituting  about  13  per  cent  of  the  total. 

The  outstanding  fact  concerning  these  data  for  1910  and  1920  is  that  the 
large  increase  in  Negro  population  did  not  bring  into  existence  any  new  large 
colonies  but  resiilted  in  the  expansion  and  increased  density  of  areas  in  which 
groups  of  Negroes  already  lived  in  1910. 



By  far  the  largest  number  of  Negroes  in  1910  and  1920  lived  in  what  may- 
be termed  the  old  "South  Side,"  which  mcludes  the  original  "Black  Belt" 
embracing  the  area  from  Twelfth  to  Thirty-first  streets  and  from  Wentworth 
to  Wabash  avenues.  This  and  other  areas  of  Negro  residence  in  various  parts 
of  the  city,  with  their  approximate  boundaries  in  1910  and  1920  and  their 
Negro  population  for  both  years,  are  Usted  here  under  designations  which  are 
arbitrarily  given  for  convenient  reference;  they  do  not  embrace  the  whole 
of  each  area  commonly  included  under  such  designations. 

SOUTH  sroE 

1910  boundaries:  On  the  north,  TweKth  Street;  on  the  west,  Wentworth  Avenue; 
on  the  south,  Fifty-fifth  Street;  and  on  the  east,  Indiana  Avenue.  Negro  population, 
34j33Sj  or  11  per  cent  of  the  total  population  of  311,049. 

1920  boundaries:  The  same  as  in  1910.  Negro  population,  92,501,  or  24.6 
per  cent  of  the  total  population  of  376,171. 


1910  boundaries:  On  the  north.  Sixty-third  Street;  on  the  west,  Eberhart 
Avenue;  on  the  south.  Sixty-seventh  Street;  and  on  the  east.  Grand  Avenue.  Negro 
population,  319;  total  population,  4,783. 

1920  boundaries:  On  the  north.  Sixty-first  Street;  on  the  west,  South  Park 
Avenue;  on  the  south.  Sixty-seventh  Street;  and  on  the  east.  Cottage  Grove  Avenue. 
Negro  population,  1,235;  total  population,  8,861. 


1910  boundaries:  On  the  north.  Fifty- third  Street;  on  the  west.  Harper  Avenue; 
on  the  south.  Fifty-seventh  Street;  and  on  the  east.  Lake  Park  Avenue.  Negro 
population,  438. 

1920  boundaries  the  same  as  in  1910.    Negro  population,  238. 


(Vicinity  of  Ogden  Park  in  Englewood) 

1910  boundaries:  On  the  north.  Fifty-ninth  Street;  on  the  west,  Loomis  Street; 
on  the  south.  Sixty-third  Street;  and  on  the  east,  Halsted  Street.  Negro  population, 
1,403;  total  population,  25,880. 

1920  boundaries  the  same  as  in  1910,  Negro  population,  1,859;  total  population, 


1910  boundaries:  On  the  north,  107th  Street:  on  the  west,  Vincennes  Avenue; 
on  the  south,  iiith  Street;  and  on  the  east,  Loomis  Street.    Negro  population,  126. 

1920  boundaries,  the  same  as  in  1910,  except  on  the  south,  115th  Street.  Negro 
population,  695. 


South  Chicago  in  the  vicinity  of  the  steel  plants  bordering  on  Lake  Michigan  at 
Ninety-first  Street:  36  Negroes  in  1910  and  117  in  1920. 


Burnside,  in  the  vicinity  of  South  State  and  Ninety-first  streets:  2  Negroes  in 
1910  and  205  ia  1920. 

Oakwoods,  in  the  vicinity  immediately  east  of  Oakwoods  Cemetery,  between 
Sixty-seventh  and  Seventy-first  streets:  52  Negroes  in  1919  and  58  in  1920. 


1910  boundaries:  On  the  north,  Austin  Avenue;  on  the  west.  Western  Avenue; 
on  the  south.  Lake  Street  to  Racine  to  Washington  to  Halsted;  on  the  east,  Halsted 
Street.  Negro  population,  3,379.  This  includes  a  scattering  of  Negroes  living 
immediately  southwest  of  this  area. 

1920  boundaries:  On  the  north,  Austin  Street;  on  the  west,  California  Avenue; 
on  the  south,  Washington  Boulevard;  and  on  the  east,  Morgan  Street.  Negro 
population,  8,363,  including  scattered  residents  as  far  south  as  Twelfth  Street. 


1910  boundaries:  On  the  north.  North  Avenue;   on  the  west,  Larrabee  Street; 
on  the  south,  Chicago  Avenue;  and  on  the  east,  State  Street.    Negro  population,  744. 
1920  boundaries:  The  same  as  in  1910.    Negro  population,  1,050. 


1910  boundaries:  On  the  north,  Lawrence  Avenue;  on  the  west,  Ashland  Avenue; 
on  the  south,  Montrose  Avenue;  and  on  the  east,  Sheridan  Road.  Negro  popula- 
tion, 105. 

1920  boundaries:  The  same  as  in  1910.    Negro  population,  175. 

The  total  Negro  population  in  the  north  division  of  the  city,  including  the  part 
designated  "North  Side,"  the  Ravenswood  colony,  and  scattered  residents  in  other 
parts,  was  1,427  in  1910  and  1,820  in  1920. 


While  the  principal  colony  of  Chicago's  Negro  population  is  situated  in  a 
central  part  of  the  South  Side,  Negroes  are  to  be  found  in  several  other  parts 
of  the  city  in  proportions  to  total  population  ranging  from  less  than  i  per  cent 
to  more  than  95  per  cent.  In  some  of  these  neighborhoods  whites  and  Negroes 
have  become  adjusted  to  one  another;  in  others  they  have  not.  There  are 
numerous  degrees  of  variation  between  the  two  extremes.  In  this  study  the 
term  "adjusted  neighborhood"  indicates  one  in  which  whites  and  Negroes 
have  become  accommodated  to  each  other,  and  friction  is  either  non-existent 
or  negligible;  "non-adjusted  neighborhood"  is  one  where  misunderstandings, 
dislikes,  and  antagonisms  resulting  from  contacts  of  any  degree  between  whites 
and  Negroes  express  themselves  in  racial  hostility,  sometimes  involving  open 


The  most  striking  example  of  "adjusted  neighborhoods"  is  the  district 
known  as  the  "Black  Belt."  Because  90  per  cent  of  the  Negroes  of  Chicago 
live  within  this  area,  it  is  usually  assumed  that  the  district  is  90  per  cent 



Negro.  This,  however,  is  not  the  case.  The  area  between  Twelfth  and 
Thirty-ninth  streets,  Wentworth  Avenue  and  Lake  Michigan,  includes  the 
oldest  and  densest  Negro  population  of  any  section  of  its  size  in  Chicago. 
However,  the  actual  numbers  of  whites  and  Negroes  living  there  are  42,797 
and  54,906  respectively.  In  this  area  the  Negro  population  has  increased 
gradually  and  without  disturbance  for  many  years.  Although  for  a  long  period 
Negroes  were  confined  to  the  area  bounded  by  State  Street,  Wentworth 
Avenue,  Twelfth,  and  Thirty-ninth  streets,  their  movement  into  the  neighbor- 
hood east  of  State  Street  was  ultimately  looked  upon  as  a  natural  and  expected 
expansion.  Within  the  whole  of  this  territory  a  relationship  exists,  which, 
although  perhaps  not  uniformly  friendly,  yet  is  without  friction  or  disorder. 
During  the  riot  few  white  persons  living  or  engaged  in  business  there  were  at- 
tacked by  Negroes,  who  were  in  the  majority  in  many  parts  of  the  area.  Many 
whites  remaining  in  the  area,  which  was  formerly  all  white,  are  small  property 
owners  who  for  sentimental  reasons  prefer  to  live  there.  Numbers  of  family 
hotels  and  large  apartment  houses  there  continue  to  be  occupied  by  whites, 
who  are  apparently  little  affected  by  the  presence  of  10  per  cent  more  Negroes 
than  whites  around  them.  Michigan  Avenue  and  Grand  Boulevard  are  the 
streets  into  which  Negroes  have  moved  most  recently.  The  only  recorded 
bombing  within  this  area  occurred  on  Grand  Boulevard.  The  Grand  Boulevard 
district  is  affiliated  with  the  Kenwood  and  Hyde  Park  Property  Owners' 
Association.  Although  the  bombing  was  an  expression  of  resentment  against 
Negroes  because  they  moved  into  this  block,  there  are  circumstances  which 
indicate  that  the  resentment  did  not  come  from  the  neighbors.  For  example, 
the  wife  of  a  Negro  physician  owning  and  living  in  a  house  in  the  same  block 
was  asked  by  her  white  neighbors  to  serve  as  chairman  of  a  committee  to  keep 
up  the  property  in  the  neighborhood. 

The  first  Negro  family  to  move  into  the  Vernon  Avenue  block  immediately 
south  of  Thirty-first  Street  bought  its  residence  in  191 1.  It  was  five  years 
before  another  Negro  family  came.  White  neighbors,  who  were  and  are  very 
friendly,  said  this  family's  good  care  of  its  lawn  was  an  example  for  the  whole 

When  an  apartment  house  in  which  a  Negro  family  Uved  on  South  Park 
Avenue  near  Thirty-first  Street  was  burned,  white  neighbors  took  them  into 
their  home  and  kept  them  untU  another  house  was  secured.  At  a  meeting  of 
the  City  Club  of  Chicago  a  white  man  who  had  lived  in  this  area  for  forty 
years  thus  characterized  the  relations  between  whites  and  Negroes  living  there: 
Having  lived  on  the  South  Side  in  what  is  now  known  as  the  "Black  Belt"  for 
forty  years,  I  can  testify  that  I  have  never  had  more  honest,  quiet,  and  law-abiding 
neighbors  than  those  who  are  of  the  African  race,  either  fuU  or  mixed  blood.  In 
the  precinct  where  I  live  we  have  several  families  blessed  with  many  orderly  and 
weU-behaved  children,  of  Caucasian  and  African  blood.  They  seem  to  get  along 
nicely,  and  why  should  they  not?  ....  There  is  no  race  question,  it  is  a  question 
of  intelligence  and  morality,  pure  and  simple. 


Occasional  minor  misunderstandings  have  resulted  from  contacts  in  this 
area,  but  they  have  not  been  conspicuously  marked  by  racial  bitterness. 
Objections,  sometimes  expressed  when  the  tradition  of  an  "aU  white"  neighbor- 
hood was  first  broken,  disappeared  as  the  neighbors  came  to  know  each  other. 
Long  residence  is  apparently  one  condition  of  the  adjustment  process. 

Expansion  and  adjustment.— Th.t  first  noticeable  expansion  of  the  Negro 
population  following  the  migration  in  1917  and  1918  was  in  the  area  extending 
south  from  Thirty-ninth  Street  to  Forty-seventh  Street  onLangley',  St.  Lawrence, 
and  Evans  avenues.  Negroes  began  moving  into  this  area  early  in  1917, 
first  a  few  and  finally  in  large  numbers.  There  is  yet  no  compact  group,  for 
these  Negro  families,  while  numerous,  are  well  distributed.  The  experiences 
of  some  of  the  first  families  there  are  interesting. 

A  Negro  woman  bought  a  piece  of  property  on  Langley  Avenue,  near 
Forty-third  Street,  when  every  other  family  in  the  block  was  white.  The 
courtesy  shown  her  by  them  was  aU  that  could  be  desired,  she  declares.  There 
are  stiU  six  or  eight  white  famiUes  in  the  block,  and  they  continue  on  the  most 
friendly  terms  with  her.  A  Negro  woman  in  another  block  has  white  neighbors 
all  around  her,  but  there  has  been  no  racial  objection  or  friction.  Another, 
who  owns  her  property  on  Evans  Avenue,  has  had  no  trouble  with  white  families 
that  remain  in  the  block.  So  with  a  Negro  who  rents  from  the  Negro  owner  of 
a  flat  on  East  Thirty-sixth  Street.  A  Negro  who  has  bought  a  home  on  St. 
Lawrence  Avenue  near  Forty-seventh  Street  declares  that  the  white  families 
living  thereabouts  "treat  my  family  right."  In  one  block  on  St.  Lawrence 
Avenue  a  Negro  family  is  surrounded  by  white  neighbors,  but  no  trouble  has 
been  experienced.  In  a  block  on  Langley  Avenue  another  family  of  Negroes  has 
had  no  clashes  with  the  white  neighbors  who  compose  most  of  the  neighborhood. 
A  woman  who  built  her  home  in  the  4800  block  on  Champlain  Avenue,  when 
hers  was  the  only  Negro  family  there  and  has  hved  there  ever  since,  had  no 
trouble  with  neighbors  until  other  Negroes  moved  in.  Then  a  white  woman 
circulated  a  petition  for  the  purpose  of  compelling  the  Negroes  to  move  out. 
This  effort  failed.  In  another  block  on  East  Forty-sixth  Street  a  Negro  family 
hves  in  a  neighborhood  which  has  a  majority  of  whites,  but  the  relations  have 
been  amicable.  An  apartment  house  on  Champlain  Avenue  near  Forty-sixth 
Street  is  occupied  entirely  by  Negroes,  though  there  are  white  famiUes  all 
through  the  neighborhood.  One  Negro  who  has  lived  there  for  three  years 
says  they  have  never  been  molested.  A  pioneer  Negro  family  in  a  white  block 
on  Vernon  Avenue  near  Thirty-ninth  Street  reports  no  trouble  with  the  white 

Two  women  who  were  among  the  last  of  the  whites  to  leave  the  Langley 
Avenue  vicinity  say  they  always  found  the  Negroes  to  be  kindly  neighbors.  A 
Negro  family  on  Forty-first  Street  has  been  there  a  year  without  friction  with 
white  neighbors.  In  another  block  on  East  Forty-second  Street  a  Negro  woman 
reported  that,  though  there  are  white  people  all  through  the  :ieighborhood, 

CD  =3  tzD  n  c3  f  "T  c.;  c 



7i^  jf^t^  M^ii»V 

si^  ^Hf'mjuf 


j^i^  M^jmg 

^jif^  m^ifTTntDr 

fA^f  auM^M 

■Hr-wy  ■»!  up 


the  two  races  get  along  peaceably.  In  the  400  block  of  East  Forty-sixth 
Street  a  similar  report  is  given.  In  still  another  block  on  Champlain  Avenue 
lives  a  woman  who  has  been  in  the  midst  of  white  famihes  for  a  nimiber  of 
years  without  experiencing  animosity.  On  East  Forty-second  Street  a  Negro 
family  has  Uved  for  three  years  in  similar  freedom  from  racial  friction. 

In  another  instance  a  pioneer  Negro  family  in  a  block  otherwise  whoUy 
white  was  well  regarded  by  all  except  one  of  the  neighbors.  This  white  man 
who  voiced  loudly  his  objections  to  the  "invasion"  was  one  who,  because  of 
his  drunken  habits  and  troublesome  natiure,  had  long  been  considered  an 
undesirable  neighbor  by  other  whites  in  the  block. 

Woodlawn. — Relations  in  Woodlawn,  where  the  Negro  population  increase 
has  been  relatively  large,  are  for  the  most  part  friendly.  There  is  an  association 
of  Negro  property  owners  interested  in  keeping  up  the  physical  appearance 
of  their  homes  in  the  neighborhood.  No  clashes  have  been  reported  except 
one  instance  of  a  group  of  white  boys  from  another  neighborhood  throwing 
stones  at  a  building  where  they  saw  Negroes.  Following  the  stirring  up  and 
organization  of  anti-Negro  sentiment  in  Hyde  Park,  an  attempt  was  made  to 
organize  white  Woodlawn  property  owners  against  the  invasion  of  the  district 
by  Negroes.  This  organization  was  not  a  great  success.  There  have  been  no 
bombings  in  this  district,  and  no  concerted  opposition  to  the  presence  of  Negroes 
as  neighbors.  Long  residence  together  and  the  good  character  and  conduct 
of  both  Negroes  and  whites  are  probably  important  reasons  for  lack  of  friction. 

2.      THE  WEST  SIDE 

A  situation  like  that  in  the  adjusted  neighborhoods  of  the  South  Side 
exists  in  the  district  bounded  by  Washington  and  Kinzie,  Ashland  and  Cali- 
fornia avenues,  where  there  has  been  a  settlement  of  Negroes  for  many  years. 
Houses  are  cheaper  than  on  the  South  Side,  and  although  the  general  standard 
of  workingmen's  homes  compares  favorably  with  that  on  the  South  Side, 
few  of  the  abandoned  good  residences  formerly  occupied  by  wealthy  persons 
are  available  for  Negroes.  The  densest  and  oldest  settlement  of  Negroes  is 
within  the  boundaries  named,  although  the  Negro  residence  area  actually 
extends  many  blocks  beyond  them  on  all  sides.  There  has  been  little  friction, 
though  the  area  has  9,221  whites  and  6,520  Negroes.  South  of  Washington 
Boulevard  occasional  difficulties  have  been  met  by  the  incoming  Negro  popula- 
tion, similar  to  those  found  in  areas  where  the  most  congested  Negro  population 
on  the  South  Side  is  spreading.  On  the  West  Side  no  bombings  have  occurred, 
although  there  have  been  frequent  protests  against  the  expansion.  Some 
streets  have  come  to  be  recognized  as  Negro  streets. 

In  recent  years  many  Negroes  have  bought  homes  on  the  West  Side  when 
they  could  not  easily  find  living  quarters  in  or  near  the  older  Negro  residence 
areas  on  the  South  Side.  Almost  uniformly  they  keep  their  homes  in  good 
condition,  which  cannot  be  said  of  all  the  Negroes  who  settled  early  in  this 


district.  West  Side  Negroes,  laborers  for  the  most  part,  are  generally  home- 
loving,  hard-working,  and  desirous  of  improving  conditions  for  their  children. 
Older  settlers  among  them  have  been  able  to  make  their  adjustments  without 
great  difficulty  and  with  no  marked  antagonism  from  white  neighbors. 

Though  occasionally  trivial  conflicts  arise  between  Negro  and  white  neigh- 
bors, the  attitude  of  whites  in  nearby  areas  is  customarily  friendly  if  not  cordial. 
For  example,  a  Negro  doctor  has  a  considerable  practice  among  nearby  ItaUans 
in  the  vicinity  of  the  Chicago  Commons  Social  Settlement.  At  Chicago 
Commons  itself  no  distinction  is  made  with  respect  to  the  few  Negro  famiUes 
which  at  times  make  use  of  the  faciUties.  Children  of  these  families  have 
entered  classes  and  clubs,  and  one  of  them  became  a  leader  of  a  group. 

The  Poles  who  mainly  occupy  the  neighborhood  around  the  Northwestern 
University  Social  Settlement  are  entirely  friendly  to  Negroes.  Three  years  ago 
an  educated  Negro  was  at  the  head  of  the  boys'  department  of  the  settlement, 
and,  with  one  exception,  no  one  in  that  position  has  made  more  friends  among 
the  boys  and  their  families. 

On  the  West  Side,  as  on  the  South  and  North  sides,  Negroes  have  estab- 
hshed  their  own  restaurants  and  barber  shops  and  some  groceries  and  deUca- 
tessen  stores.    There  are  several  theaters  whose  patronage  is  largely  Negro. 

3.     THE  NORTH  SmE 

On  the  North  Side,  Negroes  live  among  foreign  whites  and  near  a  residence 
area  of  wealthy  Chicagoans.  Their  first  appearance  occasioned  little  notice 
or  objection,  since  they  were  generally  house  servants  Uving  near  their  work. 
The  largest  numbers  are  to  be  found  between  Chicago  Avenue  and  Division 
Street  on  North  Wells,  Franklin,  and  cross  streets  connecting  them. 

This  neighborhood  has  experienced  several  complete  changes  in  population. 
It  was  first  occupied  by  Irish,  then  by  Swedes,  then  by  Italians.  The  present 
neighbors  of  Negroes  are  Itahans.  As  indicated  by  the  population  changes, 
the  neighborhood  is  old  and  run  down,  and  the  reasons  given  by  Negroes  for 
hving  there  are  low  rents  and  proximity  to  the  manufacturing  plants  where 
they  work. 

The  Negroes  there  are  renters,  because  the  property,  although  undesirable 
for  residence  purposes,  is  valuable  for  business  and  too  expensive  for  them  to 
buy.  The  famiUes  are  chiefly  respectable,  hard-working  people.  They  have 
their  own  barber  and  tailor  shops  and  similar  business  places.  In  social  affairs 
they  confine  themselves  largely  to  meetings,  dances,  and  similar  gatherings 
held  exclusively  for  their  own  race.  Formerly  the  second  floor  of  a  building 
on  Division  Street  was  frequently  rented  by  the  Negroes  for  church  and  other 
meetings,  and  dances.  Recently  they  have  found  other  meeting  places, 
particularly  for  rehgious  devotions.  Some  of  their  social  gatherings  and  meet- 
ings take  place  at  Seward  Park. 

They  are  welcomed  not  only  in  Seward  Park,  one  of  the  city's  recreation 
centers,  but  in  the  settlements.    At  Eh  Bates  House,  621  West  Elm  Street, 





for  example,  there  has  been  a  club  of  Negro  young  men,  and  applications 
have  been  received  for  admission  of  Negro  children  to  some  classes.  The 
head  resident  of  the  settlement  reports,  however,  that  it  has  not  had  much 
contact  with  the  Negro  group.  A  few  Negro  children  come  to  the  kindergarten ; 
a  group  of  Negro  boys  makes  use  of  the  gymnasium,  and  some  neighboring 
Negro  families  have  asked  settlement  residents  for  advice. 

In  this  neighborhood  friendly  relations  exist  between  the  Sicilians,  who 
predominate,  and  their  Negro  neighbors.  Some  Negroes  live  harmoniously 
in  the  same  tenements  with  the  Sicihans.  Their  children  play  together,  and 
some  Negro  children  have  learned  Sicilian  phrases,  so  that  they  are  able  to 
deal  with  the  SiciUan  shopkeepers. 

Elsewhere  on  the  North  Side  the  feeling  between  Itahans  and  Negroes  is 
not  so  cordial.  During  the  riot  of  1919,  serious  trouble  was  averted  on  the 
North  Side  through  prompt  and  effective  efforts  by  the  pohce  and  members 
of  the  community.  It  was  reported  throughout  the  district  that  automobiles 
loaded  with  armed  Negroes  were  on  their  way  from  the  South  Side  to  "shoot 
up  the  North  Side."  The  Italians  immediately  armed  themselves  and  began 
to  shoot  recklessly.  They  were  eventually  quieted  by  the  police  and  others, 
and  there  was  no  retaliation  of  the  Negroes, 

Many  Negroes  who  have  purchased  homes  and  hved  on  the  North  Side  for 
years  report  Uttle  opposition.  One  family  on  North  Wells  Street  has  Uved 
there  since  1888  and  now  owns  several  valuable  pieces  of  property.  The  man 
had  no  trouble  in  buying  property,  an^-  the  whites  have  always  been  friendly 
to  them  and  to  all  Negroes  in  that  section.  Another  Negro  family  on  North 
Wells  Street,  where  Negroes  first  lived,  had  no  difficulty  in  getting  their  flat 
sixteen  years  ago.  This  block  is  occupied  by  whites  and  Negroes  without  friction. 

Minor  expressions  of  antagonism  attended  the  moving  in  of  some  Negro 
families,  but  after  several  months  the  white  neighbors  accepted  them  and 
now  are  on  good  terms  with  them. 


Failure  of  adjustment  between  whites  and  Negroes  has  greatly  accentuated 
the  difficulties  of  the  housing  problem  for  Negroes.  When  a  general  shortage 
of  housing  is  relieved  there  may  still  be  a  serious  shortage  for  Negroes  because 
of  the  hostiUty  of  white  neighborhoods.  The  sentiment  for  "aU-white" 
neighborhoods  has  grown  with  the  increase  in  Negro  population  and  the 
threatened  occupancy  in  small  or  large  degree  by  Negroes.  These  non- 
adjusted  neighborhoods  fall  into  distinct  classes: 

I.  Neighborhoods  of  unorganized  opposition.  These  are  neighborhoods 
where  few  Negroes  live.  Though  contiguous  they  are  sharply  separated 
from  areas  of  Negro  residence  and  are  definitely  hostile  to  Negroes,  even  those 
passing  through  the  neighborhood  going  to  and  from  work,  but  the  hostility 
in  them  is  imorganized. 


2.  Neighborhoods  of  organized  opposition,  (a)  Neighborhoods  in  which 
no  Negroes  Uve  but  which  are  in  the  line  of  Negro  expansion.  Opposition 
to  threatened  invasion  has  been  strong.  As  yet  they  are  exclusively  white, 
and  every  effort  is  being  made  to  keep  them  so.  They  are  illustratively 
treated  here  as  "exclusive  neighborhoods."  (b)  Neighborhoods  in  which  the 
presence  of  Negro  residents  is  hotly  contested,  by  organized  and  unorganized 
efforts  to  oust  them.  These  for  convenience  are  termed  "contested  neighbor- 


In  Certain  West  Side  neighborhoods  white  property  owners  objected  to 
the  expansion  of  the  principal  Negro  residence  area  of  that  section. 

The  pastor  of  the  Negro  Presbyterian  Church  on  Washington  Boulevard, 
who  came  to  Chicago  in  1919,  bought  the  houses  at  2006  and  2008  Washington 
Boulevard,  in  which  white  people  had  formerly  Uved.  He  moved  into  one  of 
them  in  May,  1919,  and  both  he  and  his  tenants  in  the  other  house  received 
warning  letters  advising  them  to  move  or  take  the  consequences.  The  last  of 
these  was  received  during  the  riot  in  July,  1919.    No  attention  was  paid  to  them. 

During  the  riots  Httle  trouble  was  experienced  by  the  Negroes  in  the 
West  Side  district,  who  generally  remained  in  their  own  houses  and  neighbor- 
hoods. Some  became  involved  in  clashes  on  their  way  to  or  from  work,  but 
there  was  no  serious  clash. 

The  district  west  of  Cottage  Grove  Avenue  and  south  to  Sixty-third 
Street  in  Woodlawn  is  rather  sparsely  buUt  up,  most  of  the  buildings  being 
one-  and  two-family  houses.  Numbers  of  white  people  in  the  neighborhood 
beUeve  that  the  district  has  been  bUghted  because  of  the  occasional  presence 
of  Negroes. 

On  the  North  Side  some  hostihty  to  Negroes  was  shown  during  the  1919 
riot.  One  Negro,  who  had  Uved  on  North  Frankhn  Street  for  five  years  and 
in  Chicago  for  thirty  years,  told  of  having  been  spit  at  by  rowdy  ItaUans, 
and  on  another  occasion  threatened  with  shooting  by  young  roughs  in  a 
passing  automobile.  White  neighbors,  however,  intervened.  Under  pressure 
of  the  riot  excitement,  some  ItaUan  children  pushed  through  windows  and  doors 
pictures  of  skulls  and  coflSns  inked  in  red.  At  the  time  of  the  riot  Eh  Bates 
House  issued  a  circular  deploring  race  hatred  and  appealing  for  order  and 

Although  the  few  Negroes  living  in  the  Lake  Park  Avenue  area'  have 
experienced  Uttle  opposition  in  their  present  homes,  there  has  been  no  Negro 
expansion  there.  The  colony,  has  in  fact,  dwindled  in  size  since  1910.  It  is 
made  up  largely  of  Negroes  who  were  house  servants  for  white  f amihes  near-by 
or  worked  in  the  hotels  of  the  district. 

Negroes  of  this  colony  are  barred  from  all  white  restaurants  in  the  district 
except  one  place  conducted  by  a  Greek.    In  three  of  the  motion-picture  houses 

■  See  "Negro  Population  of  Chicago,"  p.  107. 


they  are  not  allowed  to  sit  in  the  best  seats.  In  one  of  these  theaters  a  sign 
reads,  "We  reserve  the  right  to  seat  our  patrons  to  suit  ourselves."  Negroes 
are  permitted  in  the  balcony  or  in  the  rear  seats  of  the  main  floor. 

On  Langley,  St.  Lawrence,  and  adjoining  streets  south  of  Fifty-fifth  Street 
there  is  considerable  friction  resulting  from  the  presence  of  Negroes. 

There  are  residence  districts  of  Chicago  adjacent  to  those  occupied  by 
Negroes  in  which  hostility  to  Negroes  is  so  marked  that  the  latter  not  only 
find  it  impossible  to  live  there,  but  expose  themselves  to  danger  even  by  passing 
through.  There  are  no  hostile  organizations  in  these  neighborhoods,  and  active 
antagonism  is  usually  confined  to  gang  lawlessness.  Such  a  neighborhood  is  that 
west  of  Wentworth  Avenue,  extending  roughly  from  Twenty-second  to  Sixty- 
third  streets.  The  number  of  Negroes  Uving  there  is  small,  and  most  of  them 
live  on  Ada,  Aberdeen,  and  Loomis  streets,  south  of  Fifty-seventh  Street. 
In  the  section  immediately  west  of  Wentworth  Avenue  and  thus  adjoining  the 
densest  Negro  residence  area  in  the  city,  practically  no  Negroes  live.  In 
addition  to  intense  hostihty,  there  is  a  lack  of  desirable  houses.  Wentworth 
Avenue  has  long  been  regarded  as  a  strict  boundary  line  separating  white  and 
Negro  residence  areas.  The  district  has  many  "  athletic  clubs."'  The  contact 
of  Negroes  and  whites  comes  when  Negroes  must  pass  to  and  from  their  work 
at  the  Stock  Yards  and  at  other  industries  located  in  the  district.  It  was 
in  this  district  that  the  largest  nimiber  of  riot  clashes  occurred.^  Several 
Negroes  have  been  murdered  here,  and  numbers  have  been  beaten  by  gangs 
of  young  men  and  boys.  A  white  man  was  killed  by  one  of  two  Negroes 
retvurning  from  work  in  that  district,  who  declared  that  they  had  been  intimi- 
dated by  the  slain  man.  Speaking  of  this  district,  the  principal  of  the  Raymond 
School,  a  branch  of  which  is  located  west  of  Wentworth  Avenue,  said  that 
antagonism  of  the  district  against  Negroes  appeared  to  have  been  handed 
down  through  tradition.    He  said: 

We  get  a  good  deal  of  the  gang  spirit  in  the  new  school  on  the  other  side  of  Went- 
worth Avenue.  There  seems  to  be  an  inherited  antagonism.  Wentworth  Avenue 
is  the  gang  line.  They  seem  to  feel  that  to  trespass  on  either  side  of  that  line  is 
ground  for  trouble.  While  colored  pupils  who  come  to  the  school  for  manual  training 
are  not  troubled  in  the  school,  they  have  to  be  escorted  over  the  line,  not  because  of 
trouble  from  members  of  the  school,  but  groups  of  boys  outside  the  school.  To  give 
another  illustration,  we  took  a  little  kindergarten  group  over  to  the  park.  One 
little  six-year-old  girl  was  struck  in  the  face  by  a  man.  A  policeman  chased  but 
failed  to  catch  him.    The  condition  is  a  tradition.    It  is  handed  down. 


"Exclusive  neighborhoods." — In  neighborhoods  which  are  exclusive  on  the 
basis  of  social  class,  whose  restrictions  apply  to  Negroes  and  the  majority 
of  whites  alike,  the  high  price  of  property  is  a  sufficient  barrier  against  Negroes; 

'  See  "Gangs"  and  "Clubs"  under  "Racial  Clashes." 
» See  "Clashes." 


it  is  in  the  neighborhoods  where  property  values  are  within  the  means  of  Negroes 
that  fears  of  invasion  are  entertained.  In  many  new  real  estate  subdivisions 
houses  are  sold  on  easy  payments.  Almost  without  exception  these  sections 
are  exclusively  for  whites,  and  usually  it  is  so  stated  in  the  prospectus.  Other 
sections  longer  established  come  to  notice  when  some  incident  provokes  the 
expression  of  opposition  abeady  organized  and  awaiting  it. 

Such  a  section  is  the  neighborhood  known  as  Park  Manor  and  Wakeford. 
This  neighborhood  Ues  between  Sixty-ninth  and  Seventy-ninth  streets,  and 
Cottage  Grove  and  Indiana  avenues.  It  is  newly  built,  chiefly  with  small 
dwellings,  most  of  them  not  more  than  five  years  old.  Many  of  the  residents 
had  hved  in  a  neighborhood  to  the  north,  nearer  Woodlawn,  whose  growth  of 
Negro  population  had  caused  some  of  them  to  move.  Park  Manor  and 
Wakeford  were  startled  by  the  following  advertisement  in  the  Chicago  Daily 
News  in  July,  1920: 

For  sale — Coldred  Attention:  homes  on  Vernon,  South  Park  and  Indiana  Aves. 
Sold  on  easy  terms;  come  out  and  look  this  locality  over;  Protestant  neighborhood, 
Park  Manor  and  Wakeford;  good  transportation.  Blair,  7455  Cottage  Grove 

Blair,  a  real  estate  agent,  denied  all  knowledge  of  the  advertisement  and 
attributed  it  either  to  an  enemy  or  to  a  practical  joker.  He  sent  notices  to  be 
read  the  following  day  in  the  nine  churches  of  the  district,  so  stating,  deploring 
the  occurrence  and  pledging  himself  to  aid  the  other  residents  in  excluding 
Negroes  and  in  hunting  down  the  author  of  the  advertisement. 

Meanwhile  the  entire  district  had  been  aroused,  and  a  meeting  called  for 
the  evening  of  July  12,  in  front  of  a  chmrch  at  Seventy-sixth  Street  and  St. 
Lawrence  Avenue.  About  1,000  people  gathered  for  this  meeting,  which  was 
conducted  by  the  presidents  of  the  South  Park  Manor  and  Wakeford  Improve- 
ment Associations.  The  former  announced  that  he  had  visited  the  Daily 
News  and  learned  that  the  advertisement  had  been  handed  to  a  clerk  in  type- 
written form  and  with  a  typewritten  signature,  and  paid  for  in  advance, 
whereas  Blah's  regular  advertising  was  done  on  a  charge  account.  This  and 
other  information  tended  to  show  that  the  agent  was  not  responsible  for  the 
advertisement.  In  its  issue  of  Monday,  July  12,  the  Daily  News  printed  an 
explanatory  statement. 

Other  speakers  at  the  meeting  were  a  real  estate  dealer  and  an  alderman. 
Considerable  indignation  was  expressed  over  the  false  hght  in  which  the 
conununity  had  been  placed.  Even  the  suggestion  that  Negroes  might  by 
chance  become  a  part  of  this  community  seemed  to  be  abhorrent.  As  far  as 
Negroes  were  concerned  there  was  no  excitement,  but  they  resented  being 
used  to  frighten  white  residents. 

"Contested  neighborhoods." — The  contested  neighborhoods  are  by  far  the 
most  important  among  the  tj^es  of  non-adjusted  neighborhoods,  both  because 
of  the  actual  presence  ui  them  of  varying  numbers  of  Negroes  and  their 

^^r  ^JAt/m^ 

XAfr    f  e03» 


bearing  on  the  future  relations  of  the  races.  The  efforts  in  such  neighborhoods 
to  keep  out  Negroes  involve  stimulation  of  anti-Negro  sentiment  and  organi- 
zation of  property  owners,  and  the  campaign  against  the  presence  of  Negroes 
as  neighbors  develops  into  a  campaign  against  Negroes.  Negroes  in  turn 
resent  both  the  propaganda  statements  and  the  organized  efforts.  A  continu- 
ous struggle,  marked  by  bombings,  foreclosures  of  mortgages,  and  court  dis- 
putes, is  the  result. 

The  most  conspicuous  type  of  a  "contested  neighborhood"  is  that  known 
as  Kenwood  and  Hyde  Park.  In  this  general  neighborhood,  from  Thirty- 
ninth  to  Fifty-ninth  streets  and  from  State  Street  to  Lake  Michigan,  hostiUty 
toward  Negroes  has  been  plainly  and  even  forcibly  expressed  through  organized 
efforts  to  oust  them  and  prevent  their  further  encroachment.  The  situation 
is  pecuUar.  This  is  the  part  of  the  old  South  Side  in  which  most  of  the  Negro 
population  of  Chicago  has  settled.  The  so-called  "Black  Belt"  has  been 
overcrowded  for  years.  Old  and  deteriorated  housing  and  its  insufficiency  have 
been  steadily  driving  Negroes  out  of  it  in  search  of  other  homes. 

It  was  inevitable  that  the  great  influx  of  migrants  should  overflow  into 
surrounding  territory.  Many  migrants  brought  funds,  having  sold  out  their 
homes  and  other  possessions.  Negroes  who  had  Uved  for  some  time  in  the 
"Black  Belt"  were  eager  to  escape  from  it,  and  here  was  their  opportunity. 
They  did  not  wish  to  go  too  far  from  their  churches  and  other  established 
institutions,  and  Hyde  Park  was  immediately  adjoining. 

Conditions  in  Hyde  Park  during  1916  and  1917  favored  the  overflow. 
Numbers  of  new,  and  in  some  instances  high-grade,  apartment  houses  had 
been  built  during  the  previous  ten  or  fifteen  years.  Many  whites  were  leaving 
their  individual  houses  to  hve  in  these  apartments  or  to  move  to  the  North 
and  South  Shore  regions.  The  houses  had  become  less  desirable,  and  many  of 
them  were  vacant.  The  district,  except  for  certain  definite  neighborhoods, 
had  lost  much  of  its  former  aristocratic  air,  with  the  coming  of  rooming-  and 
boarding-houses.  During  1914,  1915,  and  1916  many  houses  and  apartments 
in  Hyde  Park  were  vacant  or  were  rented  at  low  prices.  Inducements  were 
offered  to  prospective  tenants  in  the  form  of  extensive  decorations  and  repairs, 
or  some  rental  allowance. 

Negroes  bought  houses  and  apartment  buildings  and  rented  anything 
rentable.  This  expansion  of  the  Negro  boundaries  was  promoted  by  both 
white  and  Negro  real  estate  agents  and  property  owners  with  httle  opposition. 
These  men  soon  learned  that  Negroes,  with  their  increased  wages  due  to  war 
conditions,  were  able  to  make  first  payments,  at  least,  on  houses  and  to  rent 
better  houses  or  flats  than  they  had  previously  been  obUged  to  occupy. 

Then  the  entrance  of  the  United  States  into  the  war  in  1917  and  the 
suspension  of  building  operations  occasioned  a  house  shortage  which  became 
acute  in  1918.  The  white  demand  for  dwellings  began  to  exceed  the  supply. 
Real  estate  men  of  the  neighborhood  began  to  discuss  plans  for  re-establishing 


it  as  an  exclusively  white  neighborhood.  A  survey  by  the  Kenwood  and  Hyde 
Park  Property  Owners'  Association  showed  that  of  the  3,300  property  owners 
in  the  district,  about  1,000  were  Negroes.  Neighbors  had  objected  little,  the 
entrance  of  the  Negroes  having  been  so  gradual  that  it  was  almost  unnotice- 

Both  Kenwood  and  Hyde  Park,  using  these  terms  in  the  more  restricted 
sense  of  the  original  residential  locaUties  that  bore  the  names,  had  enjoyed  the 
activities  of  local  improvement  organizations  whose  fimction  it  was  to  keep 
the  streets  sprinkled  and  clean,  to  procure  better  lighting,  and  otherwise 
improve  civic  conditions.  The  Kenwood  and  Hyde  Park  Property  Owners' 
Association  became  prominent  in  1918  on  account  of  its  agitation  to  "make 
Hyde  Park  white."  In  October,  1918,  a  form  letter  was  sent  out  calling  a 
meeting  of  the  Grand  Boulevard  district  of  this  Association  for  October  20. 
The  letter  said  in  part:  "We  are  a  red  blood  organization  who  say  openly, 
we  won't  be  driven  out.  We  make  no  secret  of  our  methods,  they  are  effective 
and  legal."    A  dodger  announcing  the  same  meeting  read: 

Every  white  person  Property  Owner  in  Hyde  Park  come  to  this  meeting.  Protect 
your  Property. 

Shall  we  sacrifice  our  property  for  a  third  of  its  value  and  run  Uke  rats  from  a 
burning  ship,  or  shaU  we  put  up  a  united  front  and  keep  Hyde  Park  desirable  for 
ourselves  ?    It's  not  too  late. 

The  Grand  Boulevard  district,  described  as  extending  from  Thirty-ninth 
to  Sixty-third  streets,  and  from  Michigan  to  Cottage  Grove  avenues  was 
included  in  the  consoUdated  organization  of  the  Hyde  Park  and  Kenwood 
districts.  This  Association,  as  was  asserted  by  its  president,  also  had  the 
co-operation  of  three  other  similar  organizations,  one  in  the  Washington  Park 
district,  the  Lake  Front  Community  Property  Owners'  Association,  operating 
in  the  district  north  of  Thirty-ninth  Street  and  south  of  Thirty-third  Street, 
east  of  Cottage  Grove  Avenue;  and  one  in  the  Englewood  district,  which  is 
southwest  of  Hyde  Park. 

Organization  of  sentiment:  It  does  not  appear  that  the  residents  of  this 
neighborhood  rose  spontaneously  to  oppose  the  coming  in  of  Negroes.  If  this 
had  been  the  case,  the  first  Negroes  moving  into  the  district  in  1917  would  have 
felt  the  opposition.  The  sudden  interest  in  race  occupancy  was  based  upon 
the  alleged  depreciation  of  property  by  Negroes.  With  this  emphasized,  it 
was  not  difficult  to  rally  opposition  to  Negroes  as  a  definite  menace.  The  real 
estate  men  gave  the  alarm,  alleging  a  shrinkage  in  property  values.  The  effort 
through  the  Hyde  Park  and  Kenwood  Association  was  intended  to  stop  the 
influx  and  thereby  the  depreciation.  Meetings  were  held,  a  newspaper  was 
published,  and  hterature  was  distributed.  Racial  antagonism  was  strong  in 
the  speeches  at  these  meetings  and  in  the  newspapers.  The  meeting  which 
probably  marked  the  first  focusing  of  attention  on  the  Kenwood  and  Hyde 
Park  districts  was  held  May  s>  I9i9»  when  the  sentiment  was  expressed  that 


Negro  invasion  of  the  district  was  the  worst  calamity  that  had  struck  the  city 
since  the  Great  Fire.  A  prominent  white  real  estate  man  said:  "Property 
owners  should  be  notified  to  stand  together  block  by  block  and  prevent  such 

Distinctly  hostile  sentiments  were  expressed  before  audiences  that  came 
expecting  to  hear  how  their  property  might  be  saved  from  "almost  certain 
destruction."    A  speaker  at  one  of  the  meetings  said  in  part: 

We  are  taught  that  the  principle  of  virtue  and  right  shall  be  the  rule  of  our 
conduct  in  all  of  our  transactions  with  our  fellow-men,  and  therefore  it  is  our  duty 
to  help  the  Negro,  to  uplift  him  in  his  environment,  mark  you,  not  ours.  But  it  is 
not  our  duty,  now  mark  this,  it  is  not  our  duty  as  I  see  it,  nor  is  it  according  to  the 
laws  of  nature  for  us  to  live  with  him  as  neighbors  or  on  a  social  basis.  There  is  an 
immutable,  unchanging  law  that  governs  the  distribution,  association  and  conduct 
of  all  living  creatures.  Man  is  no  exception  to  the  universal  rule.  In  every  land  and 
clime  man  obeys  the  second  law  of  his  nature  and  seeks  his  own  kind,  avoiding  every 
other,  and  ever,  ever  is  he  warring  with  his  unlike  neighbor,  families,  classes,  societies, 
tribes,  and  nations. 

There  are  men  who  proclaim  to  the  world  and  ourselves  that  the  destiny  of  the 
black  man  and  the  white  man  is  one.  I  do  not  believe  it;  I  cannot  believe  it.  Now, 
listen!  As  far  back  as  September  18,  1858,  in  his  famous  joint  debate  with  Stephen 
A.  Douglas,  Abraham  Lincoln,  that  wonderful,  Godlike  man,  the  liberator  of  the 
slaves,  said  this  (Now  listen,  1858,  over  sixty  years  ago):  "I  am  not  nor  ever  have 
been  in  favor  of  bringing  about  in  any  way  the  social  and  poUtical  equality  of  the  white 
and  the  black  race.  I  am  not  nor  ever  have  been  in  favor  of  qualifying  them  to 
intermarry  with  white  people,  and  I  wiU  say  in  addition  to  this,  that  there  is  a  physical 
difference  between  the  white  and  black  races  living  together  on  terms  of  social  and 
political  equality." 

Other  remarks  of  speakers  at  these  meetings  were: 

The  depreciation  of  our  property  in  this  district  has  been  two  hundred  and  fifty 
millions  since  the  invasion.  If  someone  told  you  that  there  was  to  be  an  invasion 
that  would  injure  your  homes  to  that  extent,  wouldn't  you  rise  up  as  one  nian  and 
one  woman,  and  say  as  General  Foch  said:  "They  shall  not  pass"  ? 

There  isn't  an  insurance  company  in  America  that  wiU  turn  around  and  try  to 
buck  our  organization  when  we  as  one  man  give  them  to  understand  that  it  is  danger- 
ous to  insure  some  people. 

Why  I  remember  fifteen  or  twenty  years  ago  that  the  district  down  here  at 
Wabash  Avenue  and  Calumet  was  one  of  the  most  beautiful  and  highest-class  neigh- 
borhoods of  this  great  city.  Go  down  there  today  and  see  the  ramshackle  broken- 
down  and  tumble-down  district.  That  is  the  result  of  the  new  menace  that  is 
threatening  this  great  Hyde  Park  district.  And  then  tell  me  whether  there  are 
or  not  enough  red-blooded,  patriotic,  loyal,  courageous  citizens  of  Hyde  Park  to  save 
this  glorious  district  from  the  menace  which  has  brought  so  much  pain  and  so  much 
disaster  to  the  district  to  the  south  of  us. 


You  cannot  mix  oil  and  water.  You  cannot  assimilate  races  of  a  different 
color  as  neighbors  along  social  lines.  Remember  this:  That  order  is  heaven's 
first  law. 

Throughout  the  meetings,  profession  was  made  of  friendliness  toward  the 
Negroes,  together  with  a  desire  to  serve  their  needs  and  accord  them  fair 
treatment.  The  Property  Owners^  Journal,  published  by  the  Association,  was 
less  guarded.  While  some  of  its  columns  made  similar  professions,  its  remarks 
in  other  columns  were  characterized  by  extreme  racial  bitterness  and 

An  apparently  conciliatory  attitude  was  also  taken  by  speakers  at  meetings 
of  the  Hyde  Park  Association  and  its  Grand  Boulevard  branch.  In  a  meeting 
of  the  latter  on  January  19,  1920,  the  chairman  declared  that  he  wished  to 
say  for  publication:  "  We  have  no  quarrel  with  the  colored  people.  We  have 
no  desire  to  intimidate  therri  by  violence."  The  mission  of  the  organization, 
he  said,  was  peaceable,  and  it  was  the  purpose  to  proceed  according  to  law  and 
order.  The  Association,  he  averred,  had  been  charged  "by  the  colored  press" 
with  being  parties  to  bombing  outrages.  He  wanted  it  known  that  "we  have 
denounced  officially  the  action  of  anyone  or  any  set  of  people  who  would  indulge 
in  a  practice  of  that  character."  The  story  of  the  bombing  campaign  is  given 
in  another  section  of  this  report. 

At  another  meeting  it  was  asserted  that  the  Kenwood  and  Hyde  Park 
Association  had  a  membership  of  1,000  persons,  and  it  was  estimated  that  in 
the  district  to  which  it  appUed  the  investment  in  real  estate  was  $1,000,000,000. 
The  purpose  of  the  organization  was  declared  to  be  "to  guard  that 
$1,000,000,000  against  depreciation  from  anything."  One  speaker  said  he 
did  not  believe  there  was  a  piece  of  property  west  of  Cottage  Grove  Avenue 
in  Hyde  Park  that  was  worth  33  cents  on  the  doUar  "as  it  stands  now  with 
this  invasion."  He  said  his  home  cost  about  $25,000,  but  he  felt  safe  in  saying 
that  he  could  not  then  get  $8,000  for  it.  A  city  alderman  was  one  of  the 
speakers  at  this  meeting. 

Most  of  the  real  estate  dealers  in  the  area  were  claimed  as  members  of  the 
Kenwood  and  Hyde  Park  Association  or  its  Grand  Boulevard  branch.  Special 
reference  was  made  at  various  times  and  in  scathing  terms  to  dealers  who 
declined  to  affiliate.  At  the  meeting  of  the  Grand  Boulevard  district  on 
January  19,  1920,  it  was  reported  that  the  Executive  Committee  of  the  parent 
association  had  succeeded  diu-ing  the  previous  two  or  three  months  in  educating 
real  estate  men.  "The  colored  man,"  a  speaker  said,  "would  have  never 
been  in  this  district  had  not  our  real  estate  men  in  their  ambition  to  acquire 
wealth  and  commissions,  which  is  perfectly  legitimate,  put  them  here,  although 
this  action  on  their  part  has  been  very  shortsighted,  as  some  of  them  now 
admit."  This  speaker  said  also  that  the  Association's  "greatest  successes" 
had  been  in  getting  all  but  five  or  six  of  the  real  estate  men  to  sign  a  pledge 


not  to  show  or  rent  or  sell  any  property  "within  our  locality  that  we  claim 
jurisdiction  of  in  the  future  to  colored  people." 

The  Property  Owners'  Journal  exerted  no  httle  influence  in  the  creation 
of  this  sentiment.  Claiming  a  wide  circulation,  its  utterances  were  so 
extreme  in  bitterness  against  Negroes  that  many  of  the  residents  of  the  district, 
although  opposed  to  the  coming  in  of  Negroes,  held  aloof  from  the  organization 
because  they  could  not  indorse  appeals  to  race  hatred  and  advocacy  of  measures 
which  they  felt  were  illegal  and  dangerously  near  to  violence.  These  extracts 
are  from  its  issue  of  December  13,  191 9; 

To  damage  a  man's  property  and  destroy  its  value  is  to  rob  him.  The  person 
who  commits  that  act  is  a  robber.  Every  owner  has  the  right  to  defend  his  property 
to  the  utmost  of  his  abUity  with  every  means  at  his  disposal. 

Any  property  owner  who  sells  property  anywhere  in  our  district  to  undesirables 
is  an  enemy  to  the  white  owner  and  should  be  discovered  and  punished. 

Protect  your  property! 

Property  conservatively  valued  at  $50,000,000  owned  by  some  10,000  individuals 
is  menaced  by  a  possible  Negro  invasion  of  Hyde  Park.  The  thing  is  simply  impossible 
and  must  not  occur. 

These  are  from  its  issue  of  January  i,  1920: 

As  stated  before,  every  colored  man  who  moves  into  Hyde  Park  knows  that  he 
is  damaging  his  white  neighbors'  property.  Therefore,  he  is  making  war  on  the  white 
man.  Consequently,  he  is  not  entitled  to  any  consideration  and  forfeits  his  right 
to  be  employed  by  the  white  man.  If  employers  should  adopt  a  rule  of  refusing  to 
employ  Negroes  who  persist  in  residing  in  Hyde  Park  to  the  damage  of  the  white 
man's  property,  it  would  soon  show  good  results. 

The  Negro  is  using  the  Constitution  and  its  legal  rights  to  abuse  the  moral 
rights  of  the  white. 

This  is  from  its  issue  of  February  15,  1920: 

There  is  nothing  in  the  make-up  of  a  Negro,  physically  or  mentally,  which  should 
induce  anyone  to  welcome  him  as  a  neighbor.  The  best  of  them  are  insanitary, 
insurance  companies  class  them  as  poor  risks,  ruin  alone  follows  in  their  path.  They 
are  as  proud  as  peacocks,  but  have  nothing  of  the  peacock's  beauty.  Certain  classes 
of  the  Negroes,  such  as  the  PuUman  porters,  political  heelers  and  hairdressers  are 
clamoring  for  equality.  They  are  not  content  with  remaining  with  the  creditable 
members  of  their  race,  they  seem  to  want  to  mingle  with  the  whites.  Their  inordinate 
vanity,  their  desire  to  shine  as  social  lights  caused  them  to  stray  out  of  their  paths 
and  lose  themselves.  We  who  -would  direct  them  back  where  they  belong,  towards 
their  people,  are  censured  and  called  "unjust."  Far  more  unjust  are  their  actions 
to  the  members  of  their  race  who  have  no  desire  to  interfere  with  the  homes  of  the 
white  citizens  of  this  district.  The  great  majority  of  the  Negroes  are  not  stirred 
by  any  false  ambition  that  results  only  in  discord.  Wherever  friction  arises  between 
the  races,  the  suffering  is  usually  endured  by  the  innocent.  If  these  misleaders  are 
sincere  in  their  protestations  of  injustice,  if  they  are  not  hypocritical  in  their  pretence 
of  solving  the  race  question,  let  them  move.    Their  actions  savour  of  spite  against 


the  whites,  whose  good  will  can  never  be  attained  by  such  tactics.  The  place  for 
a  Negro  aristocrat  is  in  a  Negro  neighborhood. 

In  the  same  issue,  under  the  heading  Caveat  Vendor  (Let  the  Seller  Beware) 
appeared  the  following: 

People  who  sell  their  property  to  Negroes  and  take  first  and  second  mortgages 
and  promises  to  pay  monthly  sums  do  not  know  what  risks  they  are  taking  in  trying 
to  collect  the  money.  Mrs.  Nora  Foster  of  4207  Prairie  sold  her  house  to  some 
niggers  and  when  she  went  to  collect  she  was  assaulted  and  thrown  down  a  flight  of 
stairs.  This  is  not  a  case  of  saying  it  served  her  right  because  more  than  seven  of 
her  neighbors  sold  before  Mrs.  Foster  did,  but  it  does  serve  as  a  splendid  example 
of  the  fact  that  niggers  are  undesirable  neighbors  and  entirely  irresponsible  and 

The  Negroes'  innate  desire  to  "flash,"  to  live  in  the  present,  not  reckoning  the 
future,  their  inordinate  love  for  display  has  resulted  in  their  being  misled  by  the 
example  of  such  individuals  as  Jesse  Binga  and  Oscar  De  Priest.  In  their  loud  mouth- 
ing about  equality  with  the  whites  they  have  wormed  their  course  into  white  neighbor- 
hoods, where  they  are  not  wanted  and  where  they  have  not  the  means  to  support 

Keep  the  Negro  in  his  place,  amongst  his  people  and  he  is  healthy  and  loyal. 
Remove  him,  or  allow  his  newly  discovered  importance  to  remove  him  from  his  proper 
environment  and  the  Negro  becomes  a  nuisance,  He  develops  into  an  overbearing, 
inflated,  irascible  individual,  overburdening  his  brain  to  such  an  extent  about  social 
equaUty,  that  he  becomes  dangerous  to  all  with  whom  he  comes  in  contact,  he  consti- 
tutes a  nuisance,  of  which  the  neighborhood  is  anxious  to  rid  itself. 

Another  building  which  has  been  polluted  by  Negro  tenancy  is  to  be  renovated 
on  May  ist Either  the  Negro  must  vanish  or  decay  sets  in.    Who  is  next  ? 

Misleaders  of  the  Negro,  those  flamboyant,  noisy,  witless  individuals,  who,  by 
power  of  superior  gall  and  gumption,  have  blustered  their  way  into  positions  of  promi- 
nence amongst  their  people,  wonder  why  this  district  resents  their  intrusion.  To  aUow 
themselves  an  opportum'ty  to  parade  their  dusky  persons  before  an  audience  of  their 
followers,  these  misleaders  held  a  meeting  of  the  Protective  Circle  (composed,  no 
doubt,  of  Negro  roundheads),  at  which  a  varied  assortment  of  Negro  preachers, 
politicians  and  other  what  nots  exposed  our  methods  and  organization  work.  With 
much  comical  oratory,  they  dangled  our  association  before  the  spellbound  eyes  of 
their  sable  dupes  and  after  extreme  fuming  and  sweating  appointed  about  fifteen 
committees  to  annihilate  all  Hyde  Parkers. 

m.      BOMBINGS 

A  form  of  organized  resistance  to  the  coming  of  Negroes  into  new  neighbor- 
hoods was  the  bombings  of  their  homes  and  the  homes  of  real  estate  men, 
white  and  Negro,  who  were  known  or  supposed  to  have  sold,  leased,  or  rented 
local  property  to  them. 

From  July  i,  1917,  to  March  i,  1921,  the  Negro  housing  problem  was 
marked  by  fifty-eight  bomb  explosions.  Two  persons,  both  Negroes,  were 
killed,  a  number  of  white  and  colored  persons  were  injured,  and  the  damage 
to  property  amounted  to  more  than  $100,000.    Of  these  fifty-eight  bombs, 


thirty-two  were  exploded  within  the  square  bounded  by  Forty-first  and 
Sixtieth  streets,  Cottage  Grove  Avenue  and  State  Street.  With  an  average 
of  one  race  bombing  every  twenty  days  for  three  years  and  eight  months, 
the  pohce  and  the  state's  attorney's  office  succeeded  in  apprehending  but  two 
persons  suspected  of  participation  in  these  acts  of  lawlessness.  One  of  these, 
James  Macheval,  arrested  on  the  complaint  of  C.  S.  Absteson,  a  janitor, 
was  released  on  a  $500  bond.  At  the  writing  of  this  report,  one  year  after  the 
arrest,  there  has  been  no  trial.  Another  man  was  apprehended,  questioned, 
held  under  surveillance  for  two  days  by  the  police,  and  finally  released. 

News  of  threatened  bombings  in  many  cases  was  circulated  well  in  advance 
of  the  actual  occurrence.  Negroes  were  warned  of  the  exact  date  on  which 
explosions  would  occur.  They  asked  for  poUce  protection,  and,  in  some 
instances  where  police  were  sent  beforehand,  their  homes  were  bombed,  and 
no  arrests  were  made. 

The  persons  directing  these  bombings  did  not  Hmit  their  intimidations  to 
Negro  residents  in  white  neighborhoods;  residences  of  Negroes  and  white 
real  estate  men  were  bombed  because  they  had  sold  or  rented  property 
in  these  exclusive  areas  to  Negroes,  and  Negro  bankers'  houses  were  bombed 
because  they  made  loans  on  Negro  property  and  supported  their  mortgages. 

These  bombings  increased  rapidly  in  frequency  and  damaging  effect. 
The  six  months'  period  ended  October  i,  1920,  witnessed  as  many  bombings 
as  the  entire  thirty-five  months  preceding.  Prior  to  1919  there  were  twelve 
bombings.  Four  of  these  were  directed  at  properties  merely  held  by  Negro 
real  estate  men  as  agents,  two  of  them  in  Berkeley  Avenue  just  north  of 
Forty-third  Street,  and  near  the  lake.  Five  were  in  the  4500  block  on  Vincennes 
Avenue,  two  at  4200  Wabash  Avenue,  and  one  at  4732  Indiana  Avenue. 

Bombing  of  real  estate  men's  properties  appears  to  have  been  part  of  a 
general  scheme  to  close  the  channels  through  which  the  invasion  proceeded 
rather  than  a  protest  of  neighbors.  The  four  explosions  in  the  4500  block  on 
Vincennes  Avenue  appear  to  have  been  deliberately  aimed  at  the  tenants. 
This  block  is  at  the  center  of  the  neighborhood  most  actively  opposed  to  the 
coming  in  of  Negroes.  In  January,  1919,  a  white  and  a  Negro  real  estate 
agent  were  bombed;  in  March,  Jesse  Binga's  real  estate  office  at  4724  State 
Street  and  an  apartment  at  4041  Calumet  Avenue  were  bombed.  In  April 
there  were  two  more  bombings,  one  of  a  realty  office.  Following  a  pubhc 
meeting  on  May  5  to  arouse  white  property  owners  of  the  Hyde  Park  district 
against  Negro  invasion,  there  were  four  bombings.  Between  January  i,  1920, 
and  March  i,  1920,  there  were  eight  bombings  in  eight  weeks.  Responsibihty 
for  the  creation  of  the  sentiment  thus  expressed  was  in  some  instances  assxmied 
by  organizations.  For  example  the  Property  Owners'  Journal,  in  its  issue 
for  February  i,  1920,  said: 

Our  neighborhood  must  continue  white.  This  sentiment  is  the  outgrowth  of  the 
massmeeting  of  property  owners  and  residents  which  was  held  Monday,  January  19. 


Mr.  George  J.  Williams  furnished  the  climax  of  the  meeting  when  he  informed  the 
audience  in  terse,  pithy  language  that  "Hyde  Park  enjoys  a  reputation  too  splendid 
as  a  neighborhood  of  white  culture  to  allow  Negroes  to  use  it  as  their  door  mat." 

In  the  issue  of  December  13,  1919,  white  and  Negro  real  estate  men  and 
owners  selling  property  to  Negroes  in  the  district  were  "branded  as  miclean 
outcasts  of  society  to  be  boycotted  and  ostracized  in  every  possible  manner, " 
and  W.  B.  Austin,  white,  was  accused  of  violating  a  gentleman's  obligation  to 
his  community  in  selling  a  home  to  a  Negro.  It  was  asserted  falsely  that  the 
house  which  he  had  sold  had  been  used  during  the  race  riots  as  a  "rendezvous 
for  Negroes  who  fired  voUeys  of  revolver  shots  from  doors  and  windows  at 
white  boys  in  the  street  who,  according  to  the  testimony  of  neighbors,  had 
not  attacked  the  premises." 

On  December  26  the  home  of  J.  H.  Coleman,  a  white  real  estate  man  who 
had  sold  a  house  to  a  Negro,  was  bombed.  The  transaction  was  not  public, 
and  occupancy  was  not  to  take  place  for  five  months.  On  December  27  the 
home  of  Jesse  Binga,  a  Negro  real  estate  man,  was  bombed.  One  week  later, 
on  January  6,  came  the  bombing  of  W.  B.  Austin,  on  the  North  Side. 

During  1919  and  1920  committees  and  delegations  of  whites  and  Negroes 
appealed  to  the  chief  of  police,  the  mayor.  State's  Attorney  Hoyne,  and  the 
press,  but  nothing  was  done.  The  mayor  referred  these  matters  to  his  chief 
of  poKce.  The  police  were  unable  to  discover  the  bombers  or  anyone  directing 
them.  The  state's  attorney,  in  response  to  appeals,  emphatically  defined  his 
duty  as  a  prosecuting  rather  than  an  apprehending  agent.  All  the  while, 
however,  the  bombings  continued  steadily;  no  arrests  except  the  two  mentioned 
were  made;  and  the  Negro  population  grew  to  trust  less  and  less  in  the  interest 
of  the  community  and  the  public  agencies  of  protection. 


The  circumstances  of  the  bombings  were  investigated  by  the  Commission, 
and  details  of  what  happened  in  several  typical  cases  are  here  presented. 

Bombing  of  the  Motley  home. — In  1913  S.  P.  Motley,  Negro,  and  his  wife  purchased 
a  building  at  5230  Maryland  Avenue  through  a  white  agent,  and  on  March  15, 1913, 
the  family  moved  in.  For  four  years  they  lived  there  without  molestation  save  the 
silent  resentment  of  neighbors  and  open  objection  to  the  presence  of  Negro  children 
in  the  streets.  On  July  i,  1917,  without  warning  or  threat,  a  bomb  was  exploded  in 
the  vestibide  of  the  house,  and  the  front  of  the  building  was  blown  away.  The 
damage  amounted  to  $1,000.  Police  arrived  from  the  station  at  Fifty-second  Street 
and  Lake  Park  Avenue  ten  minutes  after  the  explosion.  No  dews  were  found  and 
no  arrests  were  made.  The  original  owner  of  the  building  was  bitterly  opposed  to 
Negroes  and  was  a  member  of  an  organization  which  was  seekiag  to  keep  Negroes 
out  of  the  district. 

Some  time  after  this  incident  it  was  rumored  that  Motley  was  planning  to  purchase 
the  building  adjacent.  At  4:00  a.m.  June  4,  1919,  a  dynamite  bomb  was  exploded 
under  the  front  of  the  house  adjacent  and  tore  up  its  stone  front.    The  neighbors 


JULY.  1,1917-MARCH.  1,1921 





were  in  the  street  immediately  after  the  explosion.  No  clews  were  found  and  no 
arrests  were  made.  The  Motley  family  on  this  occasion  was  accused  of  inviting 
another  Negro  family  into  the  block.  The  new  family  in  question  negotiated 
for  its  own  property,  and  before  an  actual  settlement  had  been  made,  received  numer- 
ous telephone  messages  and  threats.    It  moved  in,  but  was  not  bombed. 

Bombing  of  Moses  Fox's  home. — Moses  Fox,  white,  connected  with  a  "Loop" 
real  estate  firm,  lived  at  442  East  Forty-fifth  Street.  The  house  was  too  large,  and 
he  decided  to  move  to  smaller  quarters.  The  buUding  was  sold  through  a  real  estate 
firm  to  persons  whom  he  did  not  know.  On  March  10, 1920,  a  few  days  after  the  sale, 
he  received  a  telephone  call  informing  him  that  he  must  suffer  the  consequences  of 
selling  his  home  to  Negroes.  At  7 :  30  that  evening  an  automobile  was  seen  to  drive 
slowly  past  his  home  three  times,  stopping  each  time  just  east  of  the  building.  On 
the  last  trip  a  man  alighted,  and  deposited  a  long-fuse  bomb  in  the  vestibule.  The 
fuse  smoked  for  four  minutes.  Attracted  by  the  smoke.  Fox  ran  toward  the  front 
of  the  house.  The  bomb  exploded  before  he  reached  the  door.  It  was  loaded  with 
dynamite  and  contained  slugs  which  penetrated  the  windows  of  buildings  across 
the  street.  The  evening  selected  for  the  bombing  was  the  one  on  which  Patrolman 
Edward  Owens,  Negro,  was  off  duty  and  a  white  policeman  was  patrolling  his  beat. 
The  bombing  was  witnessed  by  Dan  Jones,  a  Negro  janitor,  and  Mrs.  Florence 
De  Lavalade,  a  Negro  tenant.  The  front  of  the  building  was  wrecked  and  all  the 
windows  shattered.  Damage  amounting  to  $1,000  was  done.  No  arrests  were 

Bombing  of  Jesse  Binga's  properties. — ^Jesse  Binga  is  a  Negro  banker  and  real 
estate  man.  His  bank  is  at  3633  State  Street,  his  real  estate  office  at  4724  State 
Street,  and  his  home  at  5922  South  Park  Avenue.  He  controls  more  than  $500,000 
worth  of  property  and  through  his  bank  has  made  loans  on  Negro  property  and  taken 
over  the  mortgages  of  Negroes  refused  by  other  banks  and  loan  agencies. 

On  November  12,  1919,  an  automobUe  rolled  by  his  realty  office  and  a  bomb 
was  tossed  from  it.  It  left  the  office  in  ruins.  The  poUce  were  soon  on  the  scene, 
but  the  car  was  well  beyond  reach  by  the  time  of  their  arrival.  No  clews  to  the 
bombers  were  found,  and  no  arrests  were  made.  It  was  the  opinion  of  the  police 
that  white  residents  of  the  Hyde  Park  district  resented  Binga's  handling  of  Negro 
property  in  that  district. 

Twenty-one  days  later  an  automobile  drew  up  in  front  of  Binga's  home  at  5922 
South  Park  Avenue,  and  its  occupants  put  a  bomb  under  the  front  steps.  It  failed 
to  explode.  When  the  firemen  arrived  they  found  it  sizzling  in  the  slush  beneath 
the  porch.    The  police  declared  that  this  was  an  expression  of  racial  feeling. 

Twenty-five  days  later  the  bombers  reappeared  and  left  a  third  bomb.  It  tore 
up  the  porch  of  Binga's  home.  Again  the  police  found  that  the  explosion  had  been 
caused  by  "racial  feeling, "  white  men  having  said  that  "Binga  rented  too  many  flats 
to  Negroes  in  high-class  residence  districts."  The  house  was  repaired  and  police 
provided  to  guard  the  house.  At  twelve  o'clock  each  night  the  guard  changed  watch. 
On  the  night  of  February  28  the  policeman  on  duty  until  twelve  o'clock  left  a  few 
minutes  early,  and  the  policeman  relieving  him  was  just  a  few  minutes  late.  In  this 
unguarded  interval  an  automobile  swung  around  the  corner,  and  as  it  passed  the 
Binga  home  a  man  leaned  out  and  tossed  a  bomb  into  the  yard.  The  bomb  Ht  in 
a  puddle  of  water  and  the  fuse  went  out.    It  was  found  that  the  bomb  had  been 


made  of  black  powder,  manila  paper,  and  cotton.  The  explanation  of  the  attempt 
was  that  "his  $30,000  home  is  in  a  white  neighborhood." 

A  police  guard  was  still  watching  the  house  on  the  night  of  June  18, 1920,  when  the 
bombing  car  appeared  again.  On  this  occasion  neither  policeman  was  in  sight  when 
the  car  drew  up.  A  man  alighted  this  time  and  carefully  placed  the  bomb.  The 
explosion  that  followed  almost  demolished  the  front  of  the  house  and  smashed  windows 
throughout  the  block.  This  last  explosion  damaged  the  home  to  the  extent  of  $4,000. 
Binga  offered  a  reward  of  $1,000  for  the  apprehension  of  those  guilty  of  these  repeated 
acts  of  lawlessness. 

On  November  23  Binga  was  bombed  again.  This  time  the  bomb  damaged  his 
neighbors  more  seriously  than  it  did  Binga's  property.  No  clews  were  found  and  no 
one  was  arrested. 

Bombing  of  R.  W.  Woodfolk's  home. — R.  W.  WoodfoUs,  Negro  banker  and  real 
estate  dealer,  purchased  a  flat  at  4722  Calumet  Avenue.  It  was  an  investment  of 
the  Merchants  and  Peoples'  Bank,  3201  South  State  Street,  which  he  controlled. 
The  building  was  occupied  by  one  white  and  four  Negro  families.  On  the  evening 
of  February  i,  1920,  a  person  with  keys  to  the  building  locked  the  tenants  in  then: 
apartments,  sprung  the  locks  of  the  doors  leading  to  the  street,  and  planted  a  bomb 
in  the  hallway.  The  explosion  ripped  up  the  hall  and  stairway,  tore  away  the  brick 
work  around  the  entrance,  and  shattered  the  windows  of  adjacent  buildings.  The 
damage  was  estimated  at  $1,000.    No  arrests  were  made. 

Bombing  of  the  Clarke  horns. — Mrs.  Mary  Byron  Clarke,  Negro,  purchased  through 
W.  B.  Austin,  a  white  banker  and  real  estate  man,  properties  at  4404  and  4406  Grand 
Boulevard,  vacant  for  a  year  at  the  time  of  purchase,  and  previously  used  by  prosti- 
tutes. A  real  estate  dealer  herself,  she  had  frequently  been  assisted  by  Austin  in 
financing  her  transactions,  one  of  which  was  the  sale  to  Negroes  of  Isaiah  Temple^ 
a  Jewish  synagogue  at  Forty-fifth  Street  and  Vincennes  Avenue. 

The  dwellings  were  renovated  and  she  moved  into  one  of  them;  the  other  she 
rented.  During  the  riot  of  July,  1919,  her  home  was  attacked  by  a  mob.  When  the 
police  arrived  in  response  to  a  call  by  the  Clarkes,  they  battered  in  the  doors  at  the 
demand  of  the  mob  and  arrested  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Clarke.  They  were  acquitted.  On 
January  5,  1920,  the  house  was  bombed.  The  explosion  caused  $3,360  worth  of 
damage.  The  building  was  again  bombed  February  12,  1920,  this  time  with  a  dyna- 
mite bomb  thrown  through  the  plate-glass  door  in  the  hallway  from  a  passing  auto- 
mobile. The  stairway  was  knocked  down  and  large  holes  blown  in  the  wall.  The 
police  came,  found  no  dews,  and  made  no  arrests.  At  the  request  of  Mrs.  Clarke 
a  special  policeman  was  detailed  to  guard  the  property. 

Numerous  threatening  letters  and  telephone  calls  followed,  all  of  which  were 
reported  to  the  police.  There  were  threats  of  another  bombing  if  she  did  not  sell, 
and  there  were  visits  from  representatives  of  real  estate  interests  in  Hyde  Park 
making  offers. 

Tuesday  evening,  April  13,  1920,  a  third  bomb  was  exploded  in  spite  of  the 
presence  of  the  two  special  policemen.  The  bomb  was  thrown  from  the  premises  of 
Frederick  R.  Bamheisd,  an  immediate  neighbor,  a  tdephone  wire  deflected  it,  and 
it  landed  near  the  Clarke  garage. 

Mrs.  Clarke  made  a  statement  concerning  this  bombing  before  the  Commission 
in  which  she  said: 


"Wednesday  [the  day  following  the  third  bombing]  we  got  a  letter  saying  'move 
out  or  sell,  there  is  nothing  else  for  you  to  do.  We  missed  you  last  night  but  we  will 
get  you  the  next  time.  We  are  determined.'  A  letter  prior  to  that  stated  if  we  did 
not  get  out  they  would  'get  our  hides.' 

"There  has  been  some  sinister  influence  brought  to  bear  on  the  insurance  company 
since  the  riot  and  since  the  first  bombing.  We  have  had  our  house  insured  against 
bombing  since  the  first  bombing.  The  first  damage  of  about  $500  they  paid  and 
canceled  the  insurance  on  4404  Grand  Boulevard.  The  second  bomb  did  damage 
to  the  extent  of  $3,360.  They  wrote  saying  they  would  cancel  it,  subject  however 
to  pending  loss.  There  was  a  clause  calling  for  settlement  within  sixty  days.  After 
sixty  days  we  would  have  to  enter  suit  to  get  it.  The  sixty  days  have  passed,  and  there 
has  been  no  attempt  to  settle.  Some  of  the  glass  has  been  replaced.  They  have 
accepted  it,  and  there  has  been  no  disposition  on  their  part  to  settle. 

"Berry,  Johnston,  &  Peters,  the  men  with  whom  we  have  had  the  most  business 
dealings,  have  insisted  that  we  sell  the  place.  Mr.  Peters  said  last  week  he  could 
get  a  buyer  from  the  Hyde  Park-Kenwood  Association  people,  also  said  if  any  indebt- 
edness remained  on  the  contract  or  deeds,  that  the  money  must  first  be  paid  to  them, 
then  to  us.  We  have  been  careful  not  to  let  any  indebtedness,  even  for  ten  days, 
come  against  4406." 

Bombing  of  Crede  Hubbard's  home. — Following  is  part  of  Hubbard's  statement 
to  the  police  immediately  after  the  bombing  of  his  home  at  4331  Vincennes  Avenue 
on  the  night  of  April  25,  1920: 

"The  day  on  which  I  had  planned  to  move,  a  man  who  said  he  was  Mr.  Day,  of 
the  Hyde  Park  and  Kenwood  Association,  telephoned  me.  He  said :  '  I  hear  you  have 
acquired  property  and  you  are  dissatisfied  with  it;  we  can  take  it  off  your  hands — 
reheve  you  of  it.'  I  replied  that  I  didn't  think  I  needed  any  help.  He  asked,  'What 
do  you  expect  to  do  ?'  I  said, '  I  expect  to  move  into  it  or  sell  it  if  I  can  get  my  price.' 
I  moved  on  Tuesday  and  Wednesday  he  called  in  person.  He  said,  'I  called  to  find 
out  if  you  want  us  to  sell  or  handle  your  property  for  you.'  I  told  him  I  thought  I 
could  handle  it,  and  that  I  was  not  anxious  to  sell  but  would  consider  selling  if  I  could 
get  an  offer  of  say  $11,000.  He  replied  that  his  buyers  were  not  able  to  go  that  far. 
He  continued,  'The  point  is,  I  represent  the  Hyde  Park-Kenwood  Association.  We 
have  spent  a  lot  of  money  and  we  want  to  keep  this  district  white.'  I  asked  him 
why  they  had  not  thought  of  buying  the  property  before  and  told  him  that  the  house 
had  been  for  sale  for  eight  months.  He  repUed  that  it  was  a  lamentable  fact  that 
they  had  overlooked  it.  I  told  him  that  I  heard  the  Hyde  Park  Association  had  a 
$100,000  slush  fund  out  of  which  $100  was  paid  for  each  bombing.  He  said  he  would 
have  some  of  his  buyers  come  in  and  look  over  the  property.  Shortly  afterward, 
Mr.  Stephen  D.  Seman  and  another  man  came  and  represented  themselves  as  buyers. 
They  looked  over  the  inside  of  the  house.  I  only  carried  them  through  the  haUs. 
Mr.  Seman  said,  'You  only  paid  $8,500  for  this  property.'  I  told  him  that  he  had 
been  misinformed,  I  had  paid  $9,000.  He  said,  'I  wiU  give  you  $9,500  for  it.'  I 
refused.  As  they  were  leaving  he  added,  'You  had  better  consider  our  offer.'  Soon 
after  that  a  man  named  Casson,  real  estate  man,  called.  I  would  not  let  him  in. 
When  he  asked  me  my  price  I  told  him  $11,500. 

"A  week  later  a  delegation  from  the  Hyde  Park  Association  called.  The  spokes- 
man began:   'I  am  Mr.  Austin.    You  understand  the  nature  of  our  business  with 


you,  I  suppose.'  ....  I  told  the  chief  clerk  of  the  office  of  the  Northwestern  Railroad 
to  inform  you  that  we  were  coming  to  see  you.  We  are  the  Hyde  Park-Kenwood 
Association  and  you  wDl  imderstand  that  you  are  not  welcome  in  this  district.  We 
want  to  know  what  can  be  done.'  I  replied  that  I  didn't  know  what  could  be  done 
unless  they  wanted  to  buy;  otherwise  I  expected  to  live  there,  and  my  price  was 
$11,500.  They  continued,  'Do  you  suppose  if  I  moved  into  a  black  district  where 
I  wasn't  wanted,  that  I  would  want  to  Uve  there  ?'  I  said,  'If  you  had  bought  property 
there  and  liked  the  property,  I  don't  see  why  you  should  move.'  They  said,  'Why 
do  you  persist  ia  wanting  to  live  here  when  you  know  you  are  not  wanted  ?'  I  said, 
'I  have  bought  property  here  and  I  am  expecting  to  Uve  here.'  Then  they  filed  out  of 
the  door,  and  one  of  the  members  stated,  'You  had  better  consider  this  propo- 

"In  the  office  of  the  Northwestern  Railroad,  Mr.  Shirley  caUed  me  in  and  read 
a  letter  to  me  which  he  had  received  from  Mr.  Austin.  'Murphy,  his  name  is,' 
he  said,  'I  know  him  fairly  well,  and  I  simply  want  to  make  an  answer  to  the  letter. 
Don't  think  I  am  trying  to  itifluence  you  one  way  or  the  other.  This  is  the  letter: 
it  goes  about  like  this:  "Crede  Hubbard  has  purchased  a  three-flat  building  at  4332 
Vincennes  Avenue.  Property  values  are  always  shot  to  hell  when  Negroes  move  in. 
Use  whatever  influence  you  have  to  induce  him  to  sell  and  find  out  for  us  his  lowest 
figures."'  He  added,  'Don't  think  I  am  trying  to  brow-beat  you  into  selling  this 

"On  the  following  Sunday  night  on  my  way  back  to  Milwaukee,  I  read  in 
the  paper  that  my  house  had  been  bombed.  My  family  was  at  home,  my  two  boys 
sleeping  about  ten  feet  from  the  place  that  was  most  seriously  damaged.  The  bomb 
was  placed  inside  the  vestibule.  The  girl  there  heard  a  taxicab  drive  up  about 
twenty-five  minutes  to  twelve  and  stop  for  a  few  minutes  and  start  off  again.  About 
six  minutes  after  the  taxicab  stopped,  the  explosion  came,  and  in  about  five  minutes 
there  were  not  less  than  300  people  on  the  street  in  front  of  the  place  asking  questions. 
There  were  a  number  of  plain-clothes  men  in  the  crowd.  I  told  my  story  to  the 
chief  of  police  and  to  a  sergeant  of  the  police  and  they  said  it  was  evidence  enough  to 
warrant  the  arrest  of  the  officials  of  the  Association  named,  but  they  also  thougbt 

that  it  would  do  no  good 'The  thing  we  will  have  to  do  is  to  catch  somebody 

in  the  act,  sweat  him  and  make  him  tell  who  his  backers  are.' 

"The  police  believe  that  the  actual  bombing  is  being  done  by  a  gang  of  yoimg 
rough-necks  who  will  stop  at  nothing,  and  they  expect  a  pretty  serious  encounter  if 
they  are  interfered  with.  A  big  automobile  is  being  shadowed  now  by  the  police. 
It  is  used  by  this  bunch  of  young  fellows  under  suspicion,  and  it  is  thought  that  they 
keep  the  car  well  loaded  with  ammunition,  and  whoever  attacks  them  must  expect 
trouble.  There  are  four  plain-dothes  men  on  guard  in  this  district  now.  The 
police  told  me  to  get  anything  I  want  from  a  Mauser  to  a  machine  gun  and  sit  back 
in  the  dark,  and  when  anybody  comes  up  to  my  hallway  acting  suspiciously  to  crack 
down  on  him  and  ask  him  what  he  was  there  for  afterwards." 

Bombing  of  the  Harrison  home. — Mrs.  Gertrude  Harrison,  Negro,  living  alone 
with  her  children,  contracted  to  buy  a  house  at  4708  Grand  Boulevard.  In  March, 
1919,  she  moved  in.  She  immediately  received  word  that  she  had  committed  a 
grave  error.  She  and  her  children  were  constantly  subjected  to  the  insulting  remarks 
both  of  her  inomediate  neighbors  and  passers-by. 


This  bomb  was  thrown  into  a   building  at  3.365  Indiana  Avenue,  occupied  by   Negroes.     A 
six-year-old  Negro  child  was  killed. 


On  May  16,  1919,  a  Negro  janitor  informed  her  that  neighbors  were  planning 
to  bomb  her  house.  She  called  up  the  Forty-eighth  Street  police  station  and  told  of 
the  threatened  danger.  The  officer  answering  the  telephone  characterized  her  report 
as  "idle  talk"  and  promised  to  send  a  man  to  investigate.  The  regular  patrolman 
came  in  and  promised  to  "keep  an  eye  on  the  property,"  but  there  were  ten  blocks 
in  his  beat.  A  special  guard  was  secured  and  paid  by  Mrs.  Harrison  when  it  was 
learned  that  one  would  not  be  furnished  by  the  poUce. 

The  following  night,  May  17,  her  house  was  bombed  whUe  the  patrolman  was 
"punching  his  box"  two  blocks  away  and  the  special  watchman  was  at  the  rear. 
A  detail  of  police  was  then  provided  both  at  the  front  and  rear.  The  following 
night  a  bomb  was  thrown  on  the  roof  of  the  house  from  the  window  of  a  vacant  flat 
in  the  adjoining  apartment  house.  The  flat  from  which  the  bomb  was  thrown  had 
been  unlocked  to  admit  the  bombers  and  locked  again.  The  poHce  failed  to  question 
either  the  persons  living  in  the  apartment  or  those  leaving  it  immediately  after  the 

The  first  explosion  blew  out  the  front  door  and  shattered  the  glass  in  the  front 
of  the  house.  The  bomb  was  filled  with  gravel  and  bits  of  lead.  The  second  was  of 
similar  character,  but  did  not  do  as  much  damage.    No  arrests  were  made. 

In  aU  these  fifty-eight  bombings  the  police  have  been  able  to  accomplish 
nothing  definite.  Practically  every  incident  involved  an  automobile,  descrip- 
tions of  which  were  furnished  by  witnesses.  The  precautions  taken  to  prevent 
bombings,  even  if  they  were  well  planned  and  systematically  carried  out, 
failed  lamentably. 


Increasing  frequency  of  bombings,  failure  of  the  police  to  make  arrests, 
and  the  apparent  association  of  these  acts  of  open  violence  with  the  white 
residents  of  Hyde  Park  drew  out  explanations. 

Pastors  of  churches  in  the  district  who,  it  had  been  charged,  helped  to 
give  circulation  to  printed  sentiments  of  the  organized  opposition  to  the 
"invasion"  were  strong  in  their  repudiation.  The  menace  to  law  and  order 
was  definitely  recognized  and  the  public  given  to  understand  that  neither  the 
pastor  nor  his  congregation  had  encouraged  acts  of  lawlessness  in  any  manner. 
In  a  statement  to  a  Commission  investigator,  one  of  these  pastors  said,  "I  am 
not  in  sympathy  with  the  methods  and  am  very  doubtful  about  the  aims  of 
the  Property  Owners'  Association  and  have,  therefore,  been  unable  to  join 
them  or  indorse  their  efforts." 

A  local  paper,  the  Real  Estate  News,  published  a  long  article  in  February, 
1920,  on  "Solving  Chicago's  Race  Problem."  It  was  directed  at  South  Side 
property  owners  and  carried  a  stern  warning  "against  perils  of  boycott  and 
terrorism  being  promoted  by  local  protective  associations."  Referring  to 
the  bombing  outrages,  this  paper,  under  the  heading  "Danger  in  Boycotts 
and  Bombs,"  said: 

In  Kenwood  and  Hyde  Park,  particularly,  a  number  of  "protective  associations" 
have  been  formed.    Property  owners  have  been  urged  to  join  these  bodies,  which. 


without  attempt  at  concealment,  advocate  a  boycott  against  all  persons  of  a  certain 
race.  At  meetings  of  these  groups  there  has  been  open  advocacy  of  violence.  There 
has  been  incendiary  talk.  Bombs  and  buUets  have  been  discussed,  and  speakers 
talking  thus  have  been  applauded.  There  have  been  repeated  acts  of  violence. 
Night  bombing  of  Negro  homes  and  apartments  has  taken  place.  Bombiag  and 
shooting  is  increasing  in  frequency. 

The  time  has  come,  we  believe,  for  a  word  of  solemn  warning  to  all  South  Side 
property  owners.  It  is:  Keep  out  of  those  associations.  If  you  are  now  in,  get  out! 
For  you  are  in  great  danger  of  the  penitentiary!  You  are  in  grave  peril  of  losing 
your  property  by  damage  suits! 

Another  excerpt,  under  the  heading  "Perils  of  'Protective'  Organizations," 

No  one  can  justly  criticize  men  for  forming  organizations  to  protect  or  advance 
their  own  interests  lawfully.  Property  owners  ought  to  unite  wherever  practicable 
for  proper  and  lawful  purposes  beneficial  to  themselves.  For  such  unions  operate 
to  the  welfare  of  all. 

Recently,  however,  a  number  of  men  have  joined  in  forming  and  promoting 
organizations  on  the  South  Side  which  are  perilous  to  themselves  and  to  every  property 
owner  who  joins  them.  Owners  of  real  estate  should  be  the  last  men  in  the  world 
to  get  mixed  up  in  movements  involving  violence,  threats,  intimidations,  or  boycotts. 
Because  they  are  responsible.  Their  wealth  cannot  be  concealed.  Judgments 
against  them  are  collectible. 

Under  the  heading  "Drastic  Laws  Forbid  Conspiracies": 

The  law  of  conspiracy  is  drastic.  Conspiracy  is  an  association  together  of 
persons  for  the  purpose  of  doing  an  unlawful  thing  in  an  unlawful  way,  or  a  lawful 
thing  in  an  unlawful  way,  or  an  unlawful  thing  in  a  lawful  way.  Under  the  law, 
all  persons  in  a  conspiracy  are  equally  guilty.  One  need  not  throw  a  bomb,  or  even 
know  of  the  intent  of  throwing  a  bomb,  to  be  found  guilty.  The  act  of  one,  no  matter 
how  irresponsible,  is  the  act  of  aU. 

Any  association  formed  in  Chicago  for  the  purpose  of,  or  having  among  its  aims, 
refusal  to  sell,  lease  or  rent  property  to  any  citizen  of  a  certain  race,  is  an  unlawful 
association.  Every  act  of  such  an  association  for  advancement  of  such  an  aim  is 
an  act  of  conspiracy,  punishable  criminally  and  civilly  in  the  District  Court  of  the 
United  States.  And  every  member  of  such  an  association  is  equally  guilty  with 
every  other  member.  If  one  member  hires  a  bomber,  or  a  thug  who  commits  murder 
in  pursuance  of  the  aims  of  the  association,  all  the  organization  may  be  found  guilty 
of  conspiracy  to  destroy  property  or  to  commit  murder,  as  the  case  may  be. 

This  entire  article  was  widely  circulated  in  the  disturbed  neighborhoods 
by  the  Protective  Circle,  an  organization  of  Negroes,  25,000  copies  being  mailed 
to  residents  of  Hyde  Park. 

Residents  of  the  district,  stirred  by  the  succession  of  bombings,  began  to 
protest.  The  paper  of  the  Kenwood  and  Hyde  Park  Property  Owners'  Associa- 
tion reflected  this  feeling  in  a  statement  declaring  that  the  Association  had  no 
connection  with  the  bombings,  and  that  its  president  was  considering  the 


advisability  of  assisting  the  authorities  in  apprehending  these  lawless  individ- 
uals. On  another  occasion,  this  paper  took  pains  to  explain  that  the  bombing  of 
George  A.  Hyers'  property  on  March  5  was  an  outgrowth  of  labor  troubles 
and  not  of  a  property  owners'  organization  recently  formed  in  this  community. 
At  a  meeting  of  the  General  Committee  of  the  Property  Owners'  Association 
the  following  resolution  was  unanimously  adopted: 

Whereas,  Our  attention  has  been  called  to  various  explosions  of  bombs  in  our 
neighborhood  at  the  houses  of  colored  people  living  in  this  vicinity,  and 

Whereas,  WhUe  we  are  anxious  to  persuade  these  people  to  move  from  this 
locality,  we  are  opposed  to  violence  of  every  description,  therefore,  be  it 

Resolved,  That  we  condemn  the  action  of  anyone  resorting  to  throwing  of  bombs 
or  other  methods  not  in  accordance  with  reason,  law  or  justice. 

The  attention  of  the  city  was  directed  to  these  unlawful  happenings  and 
protests  from  both  white  and  Negro  individuals  made  themselves  heard. 
The  bombings,  however,  did  not  abate  in  frequency.  Neither  were  the  poUce 
any  more  successful  in  locating  their  sources. 


From  the  beginning  Negroes  were  outspoken  in  their  indignation  over  the 
bombings,  but  their  protests  had  no  apparent  effect  in  checking  the  outrages. 

The  attacks,  however,  have  made  the  Negroes  firm  in  their  stand.  Mrs. 
Clarke  was  bombed  four  times;  she  still  Uves  in  the  property  and  declares 
that  she  will  not  be  driven  out.  Jesse  Binga  has  been  bombed  six  times  but 
states  he  will  not  move.  Only  two  of  the  forty  Negro  famiUes  bombed  have 
moved;  the  others  have  made  repairs,  secured  private  watchmen  or  themselves 
kept  vigil  for  night  bombers,  and  still  occupy  the  properties. 

Following  the  bombing  of  Jesse  Binga  on  June  18,  1920,  the  Chicago  Daily 
News  quoted  him  as  saying  to  a  poUceman,  "This  is  the  limit;  I'm  going." 
When  his  attention  was  called  to  the  statement  he  promptly  replied: 

Statements  relative  to  my  moving  are  all  false.  My  idea  of  this  bombing  of  my 
house  is  that  it  is  an  effort  to  retard  the  Einga  State  Bank  which  will  take  over  the 
mortgages  of  colored  people  now  buying  property  against  which  effort  is  being  made 
to  foreclose.  I  wiU  not  run.  The  race  is  at  stake  and  not  myself.  If  they  can  make 
me  move  they  wDl  have  accomplished  much  of  their  aim  because  they  can  say,  "We 
made  Jesse  Binga  move;  certainly  you'll  have  to  move, "  to  all  of  the  rest.  If  they 
can  make  the  leaders  move,  what  show  wUl  the  smaller  buyers  have  ?  Such  headlines 
are  efforts  to  intimidate  Negroes  not  to  purchase  property  and  to  scare  some  of  them 
back  South. 

In  February  a  group  of  Negroes  formed  themselves  into  a  body  known  as 
the  Protective  Circle  of  Chicago,  the  purpose  of  which,  as  stated  in  its  constitu- 
tion, was  "to  combat,  through  legal  means,  the  lawlessness  of  the  Kenwood 
and  Hyde  Park  Property  Owners'  Association  and  by  organized  effort  to  bring 
pressure  to  bear  on  city  authorities  to  force  them  to  apprehend  those  persons 
who  have  bombed  the  homes  of  twenty-one  Negroes." 


A  mass  meeting  was  held  February  29,  1920,  with  3,000  Negroes  present. 
A  popular  appeal  for  funds  for  the  purposes  of  this  organization  raised  $1,000. 
Attacks  were  directed  against  the  Kenwood  and  Hyde  Park  Property  Owners' 
Association.    A  representative  of  the  Protective  Circle  said  in  part: 

The  Hyde  Park  Property  Owners'  Association  is  not  a  new  thing.  It  is  more 
than  eighteen  years  old.  Eighteen  years  ago  they  proposed  fourteen  points  as  a 
platform  for  their  Association.  The  thirteenth  point  was  that  they  would  keep  out 
undesirables.  AH  Negroes  were  classed  as  undesirables.  Ten  years  ago  Dr.  Jenifer, 
a  Negro  minister,  appeared  before  the  Association  and  severely  criticized  the  organiza- 
tion for  its  un-American  policies.  It  is  just  recently  that  this  organization  has  shown 
its  hand  openly,  and  the  things  that  they  have  said  and  done  are  dangerously  near  to 
UlegaUty.  I  have  in  my  files  this  statement  taken  from  a  stenographic  report  of  one 
of  their  meetings,  made  by  the  president  of  the  Association:  "If  Negroes  do  not  get 
out  of  Hyde  Park,  we  will  get  Bolsheviks  to  bomb  them  out."  The  bombers  of  the 
homes  of  Negroes  have  been  allowed  to  get  away  unpunished.  Judge  Gary  hanged 
numbers  of  anarchists  in  the  Haymarket  riot  for  very  much  less  comph'city  in  bomb 
outrages  than  these  men  are  guilty  of.  Hatred  can  never  be  counteracted  by  hatred. 
We  cannot  put  any  stop  to  the  bombings  of  Negro  homes  by  going  out  and  bombing 
homes  of  white  persons. 

The  Negro  press  severely  condenaned  the  bombings,  and  the  Negro  popula- 
tion in  general  felt  that  the  apathy  of  city  authorities  and  even  the  influential 
public  was  responsible  for  continuance  of  the  outrages.  Protests  were  sent 
to  the  governor  of  the  state.  The  mayor,  chief  of  police,  and  state's  attorney 
were  persistently  importuned  to  stop  the  destruction  of  Negroes'  property 
and  remove  the  menace  to  their  lives.  Negroes  pointed  out,  for  example, 
that  the  authorities  had  shown  ability  to  apprehend  criminals,  even  tbose 
suspected  of  bomb-throwing.  They  cited  the  bombing  of  the  home  of  a  profes- 
sional white  "gunman,"  when  eleven  suspected  bombers  were  caught  in  the 
dragnet  of  the  state's  attorney  within  thirty  hoiurs.  Yet  in  fifty-eight  bombings 
of  Negro  homes  only  two  suspects  were  ever  arrested. 

In  March,  1920,  a  Commission  from  the  Chicago  Church  Federation 
Council  sent  a  delegation  to  Mayor  Thompson,  Chief  of  Police  Garrity,  and 
State's  Attorney  Hoyne,  to  demand  action  on  the  bombing  of  Negroes'  homes. 
Prominent  white  and  colored  men  comprised  this  delegation.  A  prominent 
Negro,  testif3dng  before  the  Commission,  said  that  he,  with  other  Negroes, 
both  from  the  local  branch  of  the  National  Association  for  the  Advancement 
of  Colored  People,  and  from  other  organizations,  had  carried  their  grievances 
to  city  oflScials.    He  said: 

We  have  been  to  the  mayor's  office,  we  have  been  to  the  state's  attorney's  office 
we  have  sent  representatives  to  both  these  offices,  and  nothing  has  been  done — 
possibly  something  is  being  done,  but  nothing  of  great  moment.  I  think  that  the 
colored  people  feel  that  they  are  so  insecure  in  their  physical  rights  that  rather  than 
take  any  chance  they're  going  out  and  paying  whatever  the  charge  is  for  insurance 
against  bombing. 


Another  delegation  of  Negroes  in  June,  1919,  twice  attempted  to  register 
a  complaint  with  the  mayor  against  bomb  outrages.  The  mayor's  secretary, 
however,  refused  them  an  audience  with  the  mayor. 

The  editors  of  local  daily  papers  have  also  been  visited  by  mixed  white 
and  Negro  delegations  in  an  endeavor  to  arouse  public  opinion. 

The  effect  of  these  delegations  and  protests  has  been  small.  One  joint 
conference  with  the  mayor,  chief  of  poUce,  and  state's  attorney  brought  out 
the  information  that  it  was  beyond  the  state's  attorney's  province  to  make 
arrests.  The  mayor,  after  some  discussion,  instructed  Chief  of  Police  Garrity  to 
do  what  he  could  toward  putting  a  stop  to  the  bombing  of  Negroes'  homes.  The 
chief  of  poUce,  after  explaining  the  shortage  of  patrolmen,  said  he  would  do  so. 

The  bombing  question  began  to  figure  in  local  poHtics.  Charges  were 
made  before  the  primary  election  of  September,  1920,  that  the  city  administra- 
tion had  not  given  Negroes  the  protection  it  had  promised.  The  matter  of 
apprehending  the  "nefarious  bomb  plotters"  was  included  in  the  platforms 
of  Negroes  running  for  office,  and  in  those  of  white  candidates  seeking  Negro 

The  Commission  had  neither  authority  nor  facilities  for  accompUshing 
what  all  pubhc  agencies  had  signally  failed  to  do.  It  could,  however,  and  did, 
go  over  the  trail  of  the  bombers  and  collect  information  which  shows  that  the 
sentiment  aroused  in  the  contested  neighborhoods  was  a  factor  in  encouraging 
actual  violence.  Whatever  antagonisms  there  were  before  the  agitation  were 
held  in 'restraint,  even  though  Negroes  were  already  neighbors.  Other  dis- 
tricts, like  Woodlawn  and  sections  of  the  North  Side,  undergoing  almost 
identical  experiences  as  those  of  Hyde  Park,  have  had  no  violence;  the  absence 
of  stimulated  sentiment  is  as  conspicuous  as  the  absence  of  violence.  In  the 
Hyde  Park  district,  between  Thirty-ninth  and  Forty-seventh  streets  and  State 
Street  and  Cottage  Grove  Avenue,  four-fifths  of  the  bombings  occurred. 
All  but  three  of  those  happening  outside  the  district  were  against  real  estate 
men  accused  of  activities  affecting  the  Hyde  Park  District.  It  seemed, 
especially  in  the  first  bombings,  that  the  bombers  had  information  about 
business  transactions  which  the  general  public  could  not  ordinarily  get.  Houses 
were  bombed  in  numbers  of  cases  long  before  their  occupancy  by  Negroes. 
Each  of  the  bombings  was  apparently  planned,  and  the  opportune  moment 
came  after  long  vigil  and,  as  it  would  seem,  after  dehberately  setting  the 
stage.  The  first  bombing  of  Binga  does  not  appear  to  have  been  the  result 
of  resentment  of  neighbors  in  the  vicinity  of  his  home,  for  it  was  his  oflSce  on 
State  Street  that  was  bombed.  His  office  is  in  a  neighborhood  around  which 
there  is  no  contest. 


The  Grand  Boulevard  Property  Owners'  Association  officially  decided 
that  its  object  should  be  "the  acquisition,  management,  improvement  and  dis- 
position, including  leasing,  sub-leasing  and  sale  of  residential  property  to  both 


white  and  colored  people  within  the  said  district  heretofore  described."  This 
district  was  to  include  the  area  from  Thirty-fifth  to  Sixty-third  streets,  and 
from  the  Chicago  and  Rock  Island  Railroad  tracks  to  Lake  Michigan. 

In  August,  1920,  the  manager  of  the  Association  cited  an  instance  in  which 
it  had  functioned.  On  Vernon  Avenue  a  white  man  had  sold  property  direct 
to  Negroes.  The  next-door  neighbor  had  arranged  a  similar  sale  to  potential 
Negro  buyers.  The  neighbor  next  to  him,  a  widow,  loath  to  lose  her  home, 
appealed  to  the  Association.  After  a  conference  with  the  possible  Negro 
buyers,  their  money  was  returned  to  them,  the  Association  purchased  the  house 
in  question,  and  the  whole  matter  was  thus  amicably  arranged. 

During  April,  1920,  inquiries  were  made  by  the  Commission  into  the  unrest 
caused  by  rumors  that  800  Negro  families  intended  to  move  into  Hyde  Park. 
It  developed  that  May  i,  the  customary  "moving  day,"  was  feared  both  by 
whites  in  Hyde  Park  and  by  Negroes  in  and  out  of  Hyde  Park.  Negroes 
living  there  feared  that  an  attempt  would  be  made  to  oust  them  by  canceling 
or  refusing  to  renew  their  leases,  and  whites  thought  Negroes  might  get  posses- 
sion of  some  of  the  properties  vacated  on  that  date.  The  Commission  found, 
however,  only  eighteen  instances  where  leases  were  canceled  on  houses  occupied 
by  Negroes  who  were  having  difficulty  in  finding  other  places  to  Uve. 

In  the  summer  of  1920  the  Kenwood  and  Hyde  Park  Property  Owners' 
Association  stated  that  sixty-eight  Negro  famihes  had  been  moved  through 
cancellation  of  leases  and  mortgage  foreclosures. 

Incidental  to  the  general  plan  of  opposition  to  the  entrance  of  Negroes  in 
Hyde  Park  was  the  sending  of  threatening  letters.  For  example,  in  August, 
1919,  a  leading  Negro  rea  estate  agent  and  banker  received  this  pen-printed 
notice  by  maU: 

Headquarters  of  the  White  Hands 
Territory,  Michigan  Ave.  to  Lake  Front 

You  are  the  one  who  helped  cause  this  riot  by  encouraging  Negroes  to  move  into 
good  white  neighborhoods  and  you  know  the  results  of  your  work.  This  trouble 
has  only  begun  and  we  advise  you  to  use  your  influence  to  get  Negroes  to  move  out 
of  these  neighborhoods  to  Black  Belt  where  they  belong  and  in  conclusion  we  advise 
you  to  get  off  South  Park  Ave.  yourself.  Just  take  this  as  a  warning.  You  know 
what  comes  next. 


Warning  Com. 

This  man's  home  and  oflSce  have  been  bombed  a  number  of  times.  Efforts 
were  made  to  buy  out  individual  Negroes  who  had  settled  in  the  district,  as 
well  as  to  cause  renters  to  move  out.  There  are  numerous  incidents  of  this 
nature,  with  indications  of  many  others.  A  Negro  woman  who  was  living  in 
the  district,  told  one  of  the  Commission's  investigators  that  she  and  her 
husband  had  formerly  lived  in  the  3800  block  of  Lake  Park  Avenue.  White 
neighbors  caused  them  so  much  trouble  that  they  had  moved  and  bought  the 


apartment  house  in  which  they  are  now  hving,  renting  out  the  second  and  third 
flats.  Ahnost  immediately  white  people  began  to  call  and  inquire  whether 
she  was  the  janitress,  or  whether  she  was  renting  or  buying  the  place.  When 
she  gave  evasive  answers,  letters  began  to  arrive  by  mail.  One  letter  was 
slipped  under  the  door  at  night.  These  letters  informed  her  that  she  was  pre- 
venting the  sale  of  the  adjoining  house  because  she  would  not  sell  and  no  white 
person  would  live  next  door  to  her.  She  was  advised  that  it  would  be  best 
for  her  to  answer  and  declare  her  intentions.  Two  white  women  called  and 
offered  her  $1,500  more  than  she  had  paid  for  the  property.  She  refused 
and  a  few  days  later  she  received  a  letter  demanding  an  immediate  answer, 
to  the  Kenwood  and  Hyde  Park  Property  Owners'  Association. 

Later  three  white  men  in  overseas  uniforms  inquired  as  to  the  ownership 
of  the  property,  asking  if  she  was  the  janitress  and  if  she  knew  who  the  owner 
was.  She  answered  in  the  negative.  One  of  the  men  tore  down  a  "For  Sale" 
sign  on  the  adjoining  property,  and  another  informed  her  that  it  was  the  inten- 
tion to  turn  the  neighborhood  back  to  white  people  and  that  all  Negroes 
must  go. 

This  woman  is  the  president  of  a  neighborhood  protective  league,  including 
the  Negroes  in  several  of  the  blocks  thereabouts.  She  received  a  letter  from 
the  Kenwood  and  Hyde  Park  Property  Owners'  Association  asking  the  pur- 
poses and  intentions  of  this  league. 

This  woman  also  reported  that  a  man  had  been  going  about  the  neighbor- 
hood under  the  pretext  of  making  calling  cards,  advising  Negroes  to  seU  out 
and  leave  the  neighborhood,  as  it  was  better  not  to  stay  where  they  were  not 
wanted.  Another  white  man  who  had  been  about  the  neighborhood  selling 
wearing  apparel,  told  her  that  two  Negro  famihes  in  the  neighborhood  would 
be  bombed.  She  inquired  how  he  knew  this  and  was  told  to  wait  and  see. 
Within  two  weeks  these  bombings  had  taken  place. 


In  considering  the  expansion  of  Negro  residential  areas,  the  most  important 
is  the  main  South  Side  section  where  more  of  the  Negro  population  Uves. 
This  group  is  hemmed  in  on  the  north  by  the  business  district  and  on  the 
west  by  overcrowded  areas  west  of  Wentworth  Avenue,  called  in  this  report 
"hostile."  During  the  ten  years  1910-20  business  houses  and  light  manu- 
facturing plants  were  moving  south  from  the  downtown  district,  pushing  ahead 
of  them  the  Negro  population  between  Twelfth  and  Thirty-first  streets.  At 
the  same  time  the  Negro  population  was  expanding  into  the  streets  east  of 
Wabash  Avenue.  This  extension  was  stopped  by  Lake  Michigan,  about 
eight  blocks  east.  Negro  families  then  began  filtering  into  Hyde  Park,  immedi- 
ately to  the  south. 

In  191 7  the  Chicago  Urban  League  foimd  that  Negroes  were  then  living  on 
Wabash  Avenue  as  far  south  as  Fifty-fifth  street  east  of  State  Street,  where 


they  had  moved  from  the  district  west  of  State  Street.  From  Thirty-first 
to  Thirty-ninth  streets,  on  Wabash  Avenue,  Negroes  had  been  living  from 
nine  to  eleven  years,  and  the  approximate  percentage  of  Negroes  by  blocks 
ranged  from  95  to  100;  from  Thurty-ninth  Street  to  Forty-seventh  Street 
they  had  been  hving  from  one  to  five  years  and  averaged  50  per  cent.  The 
movement  had  been  almost  entirely  from  the  west  and  north. 

On  Indiana  Avenue,  from  Thirty-first  to  Forty-second  streets,  a  similar 
trend  was  revealed.  In  the  3100  block,  Negroes  had  been  Uving  for  eight 
years,  in  the  3200  block  for  fourteen  years;  in  the  more  southerly  blocks  their 
occupancy  had  been  much  briefer,  ranging  down  to  five  months.  In  the 
most  northerly  of  these  blocks  Negroes  numbered  90  per  cent  and  in  the  most 
southerly  only  2  per  cent. 

On  Prairie  Avenue,  farther  east,  two  Negro  families  bought  homes  in  the 
3100  block  in  1911,  but  the  majority  of  the  Negroes  had  come  in  since  1916. 
The  percentage  of  Negroes  in  that  block  was  50.  From  Thirty-second  to  Thirty- 
ninth  Street  the  blocks  were  found  to  have  more  than  90  per  cent  Negroes. 
One  family  had  been  there  five  years  and  the  average  residence  was  one  and 
one-half  years.  No  Negroes  were  found  from  Fortieth  to  Forty-fourth  Street 
on  Prairie  Avenue.  There  were  two  families  in  the  4500  block,  and  none  south 
of  that. 

On  Forest  Avenue,  from  Thirty-first  to  Thirty-ninth  Street,  75  per  cent 
of  the  famihes  were  Negroes  and  had  lived  there  less  than  six  yeais. 

On  Calumet  Avenue,  the  next  street  east  of  Prairie,  Negroes  had  begun 
to  Uve  within  four  years.  The  population  was  75  per  cent  Negro  from  Thirty- 
first  to  Thirty-ninth  Street.  None  Uve  south  of  Thirty-ninth  Street,  except 
at  the  corner,  where  they  had  been  hving  for  five  months. 

A  similar  situation  was  found  on  Rhodes  Avenue,  stiU  farther  east,  from 
Thirty-first  to  Thirty-ninth  Street.  Negroes  had  Hved  in  Vincennes  Avenue, 
the  next  street  east,  less  than  two  years,  and  in  Cottage  Grove  Avenue,  still 
farther  east  less  than  one  year. 

South  Park  Avenue  and  its  continuation,  Grand  Boulevard  (south  of 
Thirty-fifth  Street)  was  the  most  recent  street  into  which  Negroes  had  moved 
in  large  nimibers.  This  had  occurred  within  the  years  1915-17.  The  first 
Negro  families  had  moved  into  the  3400  block  less  than  four  years  previously. 
The  percentage  of  Negroes  between  Thirty-first  and  Thirty-fifth  streets  was 
less  than  50.  Within  five  months  two  Negro  famihes  had  moved  into  the 
hitherto  exclusively  white  3500  block. 

Few  Negroes  had  moved  from  east  of  State  Street  to  west  of  that  street. 


The  Commission's  investigation  being  confined  to  the  city  of  Chicago, 
the  growing  Negro  colonies  in  such  suburbs  as  Evanston  and  Glencoe  were  not 
studied,  but  attention  was  given  to  two  southwestern  outlying  neighborhoods 


I— I 








in  the  east  part  of  Morgan  Park,  just  inside  the  city  limits,  and  the  village  of 
Robbins,  wholly  Negro,  just  outside. 

1.     MORGAN  PARK 

In  1910,  126  Negroes  lived  in  Morgan  Park,  with  a  total  population  of 
5,269.  In  1920  the  area  had  been  incorporated  in  the  city  of  Chicago,  and 
there  were  695  Negroes  in  a  total  population  of  7,780  occupying  approximately 
the  same  area. 

In  its  early  days  Morgan  Park  was  the  site  of  a  theological  seminary, 
which  in  1892  became  part  of  the  University  of  Chicago.  The  first  Negroes 
there  were  servants,  mostly  from  the  South,  working  in  the  households  of  the 
professors.  The  colony  remained,  and  its  more  recent  increase  was  due  in 
considerable  measure  to  the  influx  of  well-to-do  Negroes  from  farther  north  in 
Chicago,  many  of  whom  bought  houses.  In  some  cases  Negroes  in  congested 
Negro  residential  areas  sold  out  to  Negroes  arriving  in  the  migration  and 
re-estabUshed  themselves  in  much  better  dwellings  and  surroundings  in  Morgan 

Less  prosperous  Negroes  also  came,  despite  the  feeling  of  some  home 
owners  that  too  great  an  influx  of  that  type  would  injure  property  values  and 
render  the  neighborhood  less  desirable.  Many  of  these  work  in  the  South 
Chicago  steel  mills  and  the  shops  at  PuUman.    Some  work  in  the  Stock  Yards. 

A  nmnber  of  Negroes  of  Morgan  Park  are  employed  at  the  Chicago  City 
HaU.  Some  are  porters  on  PuUman  cars.  Only  a  small  nimiber  are  laborers. 
Many  of  the  women  sew  or  work  as  car  cleaners  and  seem  reluctant  to  do 
housework  even  at  day  wages. 

Physically  Morgan  Park  is  attractive  with  comfortable  homes  and  large 
grounds.  Several  churches,  a  number  of  schools,  and  an  attractive  park  all 
add  to  the  desirability  of  the  place  as  a  "home  town."  The  lots  are  deep, 
affording  plenty  of  space  for  gardens,  and  many  vacant  lots  are  cultivated. 
The  opportunity  for  garden  patches  is  an  attraction  for  many  Negroes.  There 
are  two  Negro  churches,  Methodist  and  Baptist,  and  a  Colored  Men's  Improve- 
ment Association  which  has  provided  a  social  hall  for  the  Negro  population. 

School  facilities  are  inadequate,  and  the  buildings  are  old  and  overcrowded. 
Because  of  this  congestion,  it  becomes  necessary  for  children  in  the  sixth  and 
higher  grades  to  go  three  miles  to  a  school  on  Western  Avenue.  About  twenty 
Negroes  attend  the  high  school.  In  the  Esmond  Street  school  approximately 
25  per  cent  of  the  children  are  Negroes.  The  Negroes  have  repeatedly  requested 
enlarged  school  facilities.  They  want  a  new  building  conveniently  situated 
for  their  children. 

The  white  people  of  Morgan  Park  are  not  unfriendly  toward  their  Negro 
neighbors,  though  there  seems  to  be  a  common  understanding  that  Negroes 
must  not  Uve  west  of  Vincennes  Road,  which  bisects  the  town  from  northeast 
to  southwest.    A  Negro  once  bought  a  house  across  the  line  but  foxmd  he 


was  so  unwelcome  that  he  promptly  sold  again.  More  recently  the  owner  of  a 
three-story  brick  flat  building  rented  to  Negroes  the  twenty  flats  above  his 
stores.  A  protest  was  made  by  both  white  and  Negro  house  owners,  so  that 
he  was  forced  to  eject  the  Negro  tenants. 

The  demand  for  homes  is  shown  in  the  numbers  of  Negroes  who  go  to 
Morgan  Park  on  Sundays  by  automobile,  street  car,  and  train.  In  the  spring 
of  1920  a  number  of  houses  were  being  erected  for  Negro  occupancy  in  what 
is  known  in  Morgan  Park  as  "No  Man's  Land,"  east  of  Vincennes  Road  from 
109th  to  112th  streets.  This  swampy  tract  of  land  was  being  reclaimed. 
Streets  had  been  surveyed  and  laid  out,  though  with  httle  paving.  Water, 
light,  and  gas  were  available,  and  some  efiorts  at  drainage  had  been  made, 
leaving  some  stagnant  pools.  Other  plans  involved  the  building  of  eighty 
five-room  bungalows  by  a  Chicago  contractor.  Six  of  these  were  under  con- 
struction at  the  time  of  the  investigator's  visit,  and  five  had  been  sold,  corner-lot 
houses  at  $4,550,  houses  on  inside  lots  at  $4,330. 

Morgan  Park  Negroes  appear  to  be  progressing  financially.  An  officer 
of  a  local  trust  and  savings  bank  said  that  they  met  their  obligations  promptly, 
only  occasionally  defaulting  or  suffering  foreclosure  and  then  only  because  of 
illness,  death,  or  loss  of  employment.  The  same  officer  said  savings  accounts 
of  Nc^oes  were  increasing  in  number,  though  smaU  in  amount. 

Whites  and  Negroes  maintain  a  friendly  attitude.  During  the  1919  riots 
a  number  of  conferences  took  place  between  Negroes  and  white  people  of 
Morgan  Park.  The  Negroes  kept  rather  close  to  their  own  neighborhood, 
and  the  only  difficulty  the  police  had  was  in  controlling  rowdy  white  boys. 

Yoimger  children  of  the  two  races  play  together  in  the  school  yards.  A 
teacher  in  the  Esmond  Street  school  declared  that  no  distinction  was  made 
between  Negroes  and  whites  in  that  school.  It  was  noted,  however,  that 
when  games  were  played,  this  teacher  directed  the  little  Negroes  to  take  Utde 
Negro  girls  as  partners.  Some  prejudice  is  discernible  among  whites  in  the 
community,  but  there  is  an  evident  desire  to  be  fair  and  to  give  the  Negroes 
every  reasonable  opportunity  to  exemplify  good  citizenship  so  long  as  they 
do  not  move  from  their  own  into  the  white  neighborhoods. 

Those  familiar  with  the  Morgan  Park  settlement  believe  that  it  offers 
unusual  inducements  as  a  home  community  for  Negroes.  The  contractor  who 
is  already  building  for  Negroes  there  has  confidence  in  the  venture.  He  has 
dealt  before  with  Negroes  and  found  them  satisfactory  clients. 

2.     ROBBINS 

This  village  is  the  only  exclusively  Negro  community  near  Chicago  with 
Negroes  in  all  village  offices. 

Robbins  is  not  attractive  physically.  It  is  not  on  a  car  line  and  there  is  no 
pretense  of  paved  streets,  or  even  sidewalks.  The  houses  are  homemade,  in  most 
cases  by  labor  mornings,  nights,  and  holidays,  after  or  before  the  day's  wage- 


earning.  Tar  paper,  roofing  paper,  homemade  tiles,  hardly  seem  sufficient  to  shut 
out  the  weather;  older  houses,  complete  with  windows,  doors,  porches,  fences, 
and  gardens,  indicate  that  some  day  these  shelters  will  become  real  houses. 
In  1920  the  village  took  out  its  incorporation  papers,  and  while  there  are  some 
who  regret  this  independence  and  talk  of  asking  Blue  Island  to  annex  it,  in 
the  main  the  citizens  are  proud  of  their  village  and  certain  of  its  future.  There 
are  380  people  aU  told,  men,  women,  and  children,  hving  in  something  more 
than  seventy  houses.  It  is  a  long  mile  down  the  road  to  the  street  car,  tut 
daily  men  and  women  trudge  away  to  their  work,  taking  with  them  the  feeling 
of  home  ownership,  of  a  place  for  the  children  to  play  unmolested,  of  friends 
and  neighbors. 

These  men  and  women  find  many  kinds  of  work  in  the  neighboring 
towns — at  the  miUs,  on  the  raiboads,  in  the  factories.  Many  of  the  women 
work  in  the  factory  of  Libby,  McNeil  &  Libby.  Their  wages  go  into  payments 
for  their  homes.  Men  and  women  together  are  living  as  pioneer  famihes 
lived — ^working  and  sacrificing  to  feel  the  independence  of  owning  a  bit  of 
ground  and  their  own  house. 



Negroes  have  been  Uving  in  Chicago  since  it  was  founded.  In  fact,  Jean 
Baptiste  Point  de  Saible,  a  San  Domingan  Negro,  was  the  first  settler  and  in 
1790  built  the  first  house,  a  rude  hut  on  the  north  bank  of  the  Chicago  River 
near  what  is  now  the  Michigan  Boulevard  Bridge. 

There  are  records  of  Negroes  owning  property  in  Chicago  as  earlyas  1837,  the 
year  of  its  incorporation  as  a  city.  In  1844  there  were  at  least  five  Negro  prop- 
erty owners  and  in  1847  at  least  ten.  Their  property  was  in  the  original  first  and 
second  wards  of  the  city,  one  on  Lake  Street,  others  on  Madison,  Clark,  and 
Harrison,  and  Fifth  Avenue.  In  1848  the  first  Negro  church  property  was 
purchased  at  the  corner  of  Jackson  and  Buffalo  streets,  indicating  the  presence 
of  the  first  colony  of  Negroes.  In  1850  the  passage  of  the  Fugitive  Slave  Law 
caused  many  to  flee  for  safety  to  Canada,  many  of  the  property  owners  dispos- 
ing of  their  holdings  at  a  great  loss.  In  1854  Negroes  held  two  pieces  of  church 
property  in  the  same  general  locality.  Although  the  great  majority  Uved  on 
Clark  and  Dearborn  streets  north  of  Harrison  Street,  there  was  a  tendency 
among  the  property-owning  class  to  invest  in  outl37ing  property.  Some  of 
them  bought  property  as  far  south  as  what  is  now  Thirty-third  Street. 

The  year  of  the  Great  Fire,  1871,  Negroes  owned  four  pieces  of  church 
property.  That  fire  stopped  at  Harrison  Street  and  did  not  consume  all 
of  the  Negro  settlement.  A  second  large  fire  in  1874  spread  northeast  and 
bmrned  812  buildings  over  an  area  of  forty-seven  acres.  With  the  rebuilding 
of  the  city  they  were  pushed  southward  to  make  room  for  the  business 


In  1900  the  most  congested  area  of  Negro  residence,  called  the  "Black 
Belt, "  was  a  district  thirty-one  blocks  long  and  four  blocks  wide,  extending 
from  Harrison  Street  on  the  north  to  Thirty-ninth  Street  on  the  south,  between 
Wabash  and  Wentworth  avenues.  Although  other  colonies  had  been  started 
in  other  parts  of  the  city,  notably  the  West  Side,  at  least  50  per  cent  of  the 
1900  Negro  population  of  30,150  lived  in  this  area.  As  this  main  area  of  Negro 
residence  grew,  the  proportion  of  Negroes  to  the  total  Negro  population  living 
iii/it  increased  until  in  1920  it  contained  90  per  cent  of  the  Negroes  of  the  city. 


In  the  discussion  of  race  contacts  attention  is  called  to  the  peculiar  con- 
ditions which  compel  Negroes  of  the  city  to  develop  many  of  their  own  institu- 
tions and  agencies.  Partly  from  necessity  and  partly  from  choice,  they  have 
established  their  own  churches,  business  enterprises,  amusement  places,  and 
newspapers.  Living  and  associating  for  the  most  part  together,  meeting  in 
the  same  centers  for  face-to-face  relations,  trusting  to  their  own  physicians, 
lawyers,  and  ministers,  a  compact  community  with  its  own  fairly  definite 
interests  and  sentiments  has  grown  up. 

The  institutions  within  the  Negro  community  that  have  been  developed 
to  aid  it  in  maintaining  itself  and  promoting  its  own  welfare,  are  of  four  general 
types:  (i)  commercial  and  industrial  enterprises;  (2)  organizations  for  social 
intercomrse;  (3)  religious  organizations;  (4)  agencies  for  civic  and  social 


Commercial  and  industrial  establishments  conducted  by  Negroes  are 
Usted  by  Ford  S.  Black  in  his  yearly  Bltie  Book,  which  serves  as  a  directory 
of  Negro  activities.  They  increased  from  1,200  in  1919  to  1,500  in  1920. 
The  compilation  Usts  651  on  State  Street,  the  main  thoroughfare,  549  on 
principal  cross  streets,  and  more  than  300  on  other  streets.  The  increase  is 
strikingly  shown  in  the  following  figures:  In  1918  Negro  business  places  on 
Thirty-first  Street  numbered  nine  and  seventy-one  in  1920;  on  Thirty-fifth 
Street  there  were  forty-seven  in  1918  and  seventy-seven  in  1920.  On  Cottage 
Grove  Avenue,  Negroes  have  only  recently  established  themselves  in  large 
numbers,  yet  between  Twenty-eighth  and  Forty-fifth  streets  there  are  fifty- 
seven  Negro  business  places,  including  nine  groceries,  three  drug-stores,  and 
two  undertaking  establishments. 

A  partial  list  of  business  places  as  listed  in  Black's  Blue  Book  is  given: 

Art  stores 

14      Barber  shops 


Automobile    schools    and    repair 




10     Blacksmith  shops 


Bakeries,  wholesale  and  retail 

13     Book  and  stationery  stores 



2      Chiropodist 


JUJ^^'iS^  "^ 


The  largest  Negro  church  in  Chicago  (old  building),  at  Twenty-ninth  and  Dearborn  streets 

Located  at  Fiftieth  Street  and  Wabash  Avenue,  built  by  Negroes 

The  largest  Negro  church  in  Chicago,  larger  and  more  modern  building,  Thirty-first  Street   and 
South  Park  Avenue,  purchased  recently  by  Negroes. 



Cleaning,    dyeing,    and    repairing 

Music  and  musical  instruments 




Newspapers  and  magazines 


Clothing  stores 


Musicians  and  music  teachers 






Dressmaking  shops 








Electricians  and  locksmiths 




Employment  agencies 




Express  and  storage  offices 




Fish  markets 


Public  stenographers 




Real  estate  offices 


Furnace  and  stove  repairing 




Groceries  and  delicatessens 




Hairdressing  parlors 


Shoemaking  and  repairing  shops 




Shoe-shining  parlors 


Ice-cream  and  confectionery  stores 


Sign  painters 


Insurance  companies 


Soft-drink  parlors 








Toilet  articles 


Medicine  specialists 


Undertaking  estabhshments 


Millinery  shops 


Vending  machines 



Various  organizations  for  social  intercourse  and  mutual  helpfulness  have 
developed  in  the  Negro  community.  Some  are  local  lodges  or  branches  of 
national  organizations,  and  others  are  purely  local  and  independent.  Some  are 
simply  for  social  intercourse,  and  others  have  in  addition  benefit  features, 
professional  interests,  etc.  Frequent  reference  is  made  in  the  family  histories 
given  in  this  report  to  these  various  organizations. 

Fraternal  organizations. — Fraternal  organizations  are  an  old  institution 
among  Negroes.  In  the  South  they  rank  next  in  importance  to  the  church; 
in  the  North  they  have  considerable  prestige.  Membership  is  large  and  interest 
is  strong.    Following  is  a  list  of  the  most  active  in  Chicago: 

Elks,  Great  Lakes  Lodge  No.  43, 1.B.P.O. 

Elks  of  the  World  (an  independent 

order  of  Elks) 
Ancient  Order  of  Foresters 
Catholic  Order  of  Foresters 
American  Woodmen 
Builders  of  America 
Knights  of  Pythias 
Mosaic  Templars  of  America 


Grand  Court  Heroines  of  Jericho  of  Illi- 
Eastern  Star 
The  Golden  Circle 
Odd  FeUows  (G.U.O.  of  O.F.) 
Royal  Circle  of  Friends 
United  Brotherhood  of  Friendship 
Sisters  of  the  Mysterious  Ten 

All  of  these  organizations,  although  having  their  own  rituals,  serve  as  a 
means  of  group  control  and  of  exchange  of  views  and  opinions.    They  are  also  a 


guaranty  against  absolute  f  riendlessness,  and  that  is  perhaps  one  of  the  strongest 
motives  for  the  estabUshment  of  the  first  organizations  years  ago.  Much  chari- 
table and  relief  work  is  carried  on  by  these  fraternal  bodies  among  their  members. 

Out  of  these  associations  have  grown  clubs  with  social  activities  among 
wider  circles.  There  are,  for  example,  the  Easter  Lily  Club,  the  Mayflower 
Club,  and  the  Masonic  Progressive  Club. 

Social  dubs. — Many  of  the  clubs  and  societies  with  social,  educational, 
or  professional  interests  are  modeled  after  those  of  the  larger  commxmity. 
There  are,  for  example,  the  Arts  and  Letters  Society,  the  University  Society, 
and  Civic  Study  Club.  There  are  also  many  smaller  clubs  organized  for 
various  purposes,  but  designed  principally  to  serve  the  Negro  commimity. 
There  are  more  than  seventy  women's  clubs,  leagued  in  the  Chicago  Federation 
of  Colored  Women's  Clubs.  There  are  also  the  Art  and  Charity  Club,  Chicago 
Union  Charity  Club,  Cornell  Charity,  Dearborn  Centre,  Diana  Charity, 
East  End  30th  Ward,  East  Side  Woman's  Club,  Eureka  Fine  Arts,  Fideles 
Charity,  Giles  Charity,  Hyacinth  Charity,  Ideal  Embroidery  Art,  Ideal 
Woman's  Club,  Imperial  Art,  Kenwood  Center,  Mental  Pearls,  Mothers'  Union, 
Necessity  Club,  New  Method  Industrial,  North  Shore,  North  Side  Industrial, 
Motley  Social  Uphft,  PhyUis  Wheatley  Club,  Progressive  Circle  of  Kings 
Daughters,  37th  Ward  Civic  League,  Volunteer  Workers,  West  Side  Woman's 
City  Club,  and  the  Woman's  Civic  League. 

Among  the  exclusive  social  clubs,  perhaps  the  most  important  is  the 
Appomattox  Club.  Its  membership  includes  the  leading  business  and  profes- 
sional men,  and  it  has  a  well-appointed  club  building.  Its  membership  is 
limited  and  it  carries  civic  and  social  prestige. 

The  Phalanx  Club  is  an  organization  of  government  employees.  Its 
membership  is  large,  though  limited  by  occupational  restriction.  Its  interests 
are  largely  social.  The  Forty  Club  and  Half  Century  Club  are  purely  social 
and  still  more  exclusive. 

Negro  professional  societies,  sometimes  formed  because  of  the  objections 
of  whites  to  the  participation  of  Negroes  in  white  societies  of  a  similar  nature, 
include  the  Lincoln  Dental  Association,  Physicians,  Dentists  and  Pharmacists' 
Association,  a  Bar  Association,  and  a  Medical  Association. 


Negro  churches. — The  church  is  one  of  the  first  and  probably  one  of  the 
strongest  institutions  among  Negroes.  The  importance  of  churches  in  the 
Negro  community  lies  not  only  in  their  large  membership  and  religious 
influence,  but  in  their  provision  of  a  medium  of  social  control  for  great  numbers 
of  Chicago  Negroes,  and  in  their  great  value  in  promoting  the  adjustment  of 

In  the  South  the  churches  are  the  principal  centers  for  face-to-face  relations. 
They  serve  as  a  medium  for  the  exchange  of  ideas,  making  and  maintaining 


friendships,  community  co-operation,  collective  striving,  group  competition, 
as  well  as  for  the  dissemination  of  information,  assistance  and  advice  on 
practical  problems,  and  the  upholding  of  religious  ideals.  The  pastors  know 
the  members  personally,  and  the  church  exercises  a  definite  control  over 
individual  behavior. 

The  church  is  often  the  only  Negro  social  institution  with  an  unhampered 
opportunity  for  development.  In  most  southern  cities,  Negroes  have  no 
Y.M.C.A.,  public  playground,  welfare  organizations,  public  hbrary,  gym- 
nasium, orderly  dance  halls,  pubhc  parks,  or  theaters.  The  church  in  a  large 
degree  takes  the  place  of  these  and  fills  a  vacancy  created  by  the  lack  of  the 
pubhc  facihties  ordinarily  found  in  white  communities.  In  many  instances 
it  determines  the  social  standing  of  the  individual  Negro.  No  one  can  escape 
the  opprobrium  attached  to  the  term  "sinner"  if  he  is  not  a  member  of  the 
church,  however  successful  otherwise. 

The  minister  is  the  recognized  leader  of  the  Negroes,  and  often  their 
legal  adviser  and  school  teacher.  He  is  responsible  for  the  social  good  behavior 
of  his  people.  No  movement  can  get  the  support  of  the  people  unless  it  has 
his  sanction. 

In  the  North  the  fxmction  of  both  Negro  church  and  pastor  is  different. 
Negroes  can  find  other  places  than  the  church  for  their  leisure  time;  numerous 
urban  and  civic  organizations  with  trained  workers  look  after  their  interests, 
probably  better  than  the  church.  In  the  Y.M.C.A.  they  find  reUgion  related 
to  the  development  of  their  bodies  and  minds.  In  northern  cities  enterprises 
and  movements  thrive  without  the  good-will  or  sanction  of  the  clergy,  and  even 
against  their  protest. 

The  field  wholly  occupied  in  the  South  by  the  church  is  shared  in  the 
North  by  the  labor  union,  the  social  club,  lectures,  and  political  and  other 
organizations.  Some  of  the  northern  churches,  realizing  this,  have  estabhshed 
emplo3anent  agencies  and  other  activities  of  a  more  social  nature  in  response 
to  this  new  demand. 

Social  activities.- — The  churches  in  Chicago  serve  as  social-contact  centers, 
though  not  to  the  same  extent  as  in  the  South.  Frequently  they  arrange 
lectures,  community  programs,  f6tes,  and  meetings.  Many  of  them,  seeking 
to  influence  the  conduct  of  the  group,  have  provided  recreation  and  amuse- 
ments for  their  members.  Several  churches  have  social-service  departments, 
basket-ball  teams,  and  hterary  societies.  Olivet  Baptist  Church,  with  a 
membership  of  9,069,  maintains  an  employment  department,  rooming  directory, 
kindergarten,  and  day  nursery,  and  employs  sixteen  workers;  in  its  social  organ- 
ization there  are  forty-two  auxiliary  departments.  During  the  last  five  years 
it  has  raised  $200,000,  contributed  $5,600  for  charitable  relief,  and  found  jobs 
for  1,100  Negroes. 

Unique  among  such  developments  is  the  People's  Church  and  Metropolitan 
Community  Center,  organized  by  a  group  which  withdrew  from  the  Bethel 


African  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  in  October,  1920.  Rel3dng  solely  upon  its 
membership,  it  raised  $22,000  during  its  first  five  months.  Six  persons  are 
employed  to  carry  on  the  work,  one  a  social-service  secretary.  Land  for  a 
church  building  has  been  purchased,  and  plans  have  been  made  to  buy  a 
community-center  building  to  accommodate  several  thousand  people. 

Relief  work. — The  records  of  the  United  Charities,  which  assumes  the  care 
of  dependent  children  of  the  juvenile  court,  show  a  much  smaller  proportion 
of  appeals  for  aid  from  Negroes  than  might  be  expected.  This  is  partly 
explained  by  the  work  of  the  churches  in  relieving  Negro  families.  A  very 
high  proportion  of  families  below  the  line  of  comfortable  subsistence  belong 
to  the  churches,  the  small  "store-front"  churches.  The  number  and  variety 
of  denominational  divisions  and  sects  increases  competition  for  membership  and 
sends  pastors  and  members  out  into  the  community  to  gather  in  the  people. 
Forty-one  churches,  many  of  them  small,  reported  a  total  of  $15,038  distrib- 
uted during  1920  for  the  relief  of  the  sick  and  distressed. 

Following  is  a  summary  of  information  collected  by  the  Commission 
concerning  the  churches  in  the  Negro  community: 

Number  of  churches,  regular  and  "store-front" 170 

Number  visited 146 

Number  of  churches  owning  their  property 49 

Value  of  property  owned $1,677,183 

Indebtedness  on  church  properties  being  bought $325,895.91 

Amount  collected  in  146  churches  during  1919 $400,000.00 

Membership  of  62  of  the  146  churches 36,856 

Niunber  in  Sunday  school  in  57  of  146  churches 16,847 

Number  of  persons  in  attendance  in  64  of  146  churches 

Morning 20,379 

Evening 13,806 

In  a  very  few  cases,  Negroes  are  found  to  be  members  of  white  churches, 
but  the  Negro  churches  have  an  entirely  Negro  membership  with  Negro 

"Store-front"  churches. — The  "store-front"  church  membership  is  merely 
a  small  group  which,  for  one  reason  or  another,  has  sought  to  worship  inde- 
pendently of  any  connection  with  the  larger  churches.  The  establishment 
of  such  a  church  may  be  the  result  of  a  withdrawal  of  part  of  the  membership 
of  a  larger  chiurch.  They  secure  a  pastor  or  select  a  leader  from  their  own 
number  and  continue  their  worship  in  a  place  where  their  notions  are  not  in 
conflict  with  other  influences.  Most  frequently  a  minister  formerly  in  the 
South  has  come  with  or  followed  his  migrant  members  and  has  re-estabUshed 
his  church  in  Chicago.  Or  again  a  group  with  religious  beliefs  and  ceremonies 
not  in  accord  with  those  of  estabhshed  churches  may  estabUsh  a  church  of 
its  own.  The  groups  are  usually  so  small  and  the  members  so  poor  as  to  make 
the  purchase  of  a  building  impossible.  The  custom  has  been  to  engage  a 
small  store  and  put  chairs  in  it.    Hence  the  name  "store- front"  church. 




•'   i   .'   i   M   i   !   ^   ; 

in  \  I  \  n  n 



Denominations. — ^The  varieties  of  denominational  divisions  are  wide  and 
interesting.  A  classification  on  the  asis  of  information  collected  by  the 
Commission  is  given  in  Table  VII. 




Missionary  Baptist 

Free  Will  Baptist 

Primitive  Baptist 


Methodist  Episcopal 

African  Methodist  Episcopal 

African  Methodist  Episcopal  Zion 

Colored  Methodist  Episcopal 

Independent  Methodist  Episcopal 




Disciples  of  Christ 

Saints,  Holiness,  and  Healing  Churches. 







The  steady  growth  in  the  number  of  churches  is  shown  in  the  dates  of 
organization  of  sixty-five  of  them  as  given  in  Table  VIII. 


Year  Number 

1825-50 2 

1850-80 2 

1880-go 5 

1890-1900 5 

1900-1910 5 

1910-15 12 

1915-16 4 

1917 3 

1918 15 

1919 6 

1920 6 

Total 6s 

Church  property. — It  was  not  easy  to  determine  the  amoimt  of  money  raised 
and  handled  by  the  Negro  churches  for  any  specific  period,  because  only  the 
better-organized  churches  keep  accurate  accounts. 

The  total  value  of  the  property  holdings  of  twenty-six  of  the  larger  and 
better-organized  churches  is  $1,677,183.02,  with  a  total  indebtedness  on 
nineteen  of  them  of  $318,595.91.  In  twenty  of  the  twenty-six  annual  collec- 
tions aggregate  $226,216.25. 


Out  of  100  "store-front"  churches  visited  only  seven  own  or  are  buying  the 
property  they  use.  The  total  value  of  the  property  of  these  seven  churches  is 
$44,300.  Four  of  the  seven  have  an  indebtedness  of  $7,300;  and  the  four  that 
kept  records  showed  a  total  annual  collection  of  $5,170. 

The  pastors. — A  sharp  division  both  as  to  education  and  experience  is 
found  between  the  pastors  of  the  regular  churches  and  those  of  the  "store- 
front" churches.  Generally  the  larger  churches  have  the  better-trained, 
more  experienced,  and  more  highly  salaried  ministers.  Exceptions  are  found 
in  the  case  of  one  or  two  "hohness"  churches. 

The  ministers  in  these  various  churches  represent  a  range  of  training  from 
that  of  such  seminaries  as  Newton  Theological  and  institutions  Kke  Yale 
University,  University  of  Chicago,  and  Northwestern  University,  down  to 
that  of  the  sixth  grade  in  grammar  school.  Some  have  had  no  schooling  at 
aU.  The  number  of  specially  trained  ministers  totals  twenty-one.  Six  of  these 
are  graduates  of  recognized  northern  institutions,  while  fourteen  are  graduates 
of  recognized  Negro  institutions  such  as  Lincoln  University,  Howard  Univer- 
sity, Virginia  Union  University,  and  Livingston  College.  Four  are  graduates 
of  standard  high  schools  and  four  of  other  high  schools  below  the  standard 
rating.  The  remainder  fall  below  the  sixth  grade.  Among  this  last  group 
it  is  not  unusual  to  hear  that  "  God  prepares  a  man  to  preach;  he  does  not  have 
to  go  to  school  for  that.  AU  he  must  do  is  to  open  his  mouth  and  God  will 
fill  it.    The  universities  train  men  away  from  the  Bible." 

The  range  of  active  service  in  the  ministry  is  from  two  months  to  forty-four 
years.  Here  again  the  larger  estabhshed  churches  have  the  ministers  of  longer 
service.  Typical  examples  are  found  in  chiurches  like  Bethel  African  Methodist 
Episcopal  Church,  whose  pastor  has  had  forty-four  years  of  service;  Shiloh, 
thirty-seven  years;  Bethesda  Baptist  Church,  thirty-seven  years;  Grace 
Presbyterian  Church,  thirty-two  years  (all  at  this  one  church) ;  Original  Provi- 
dence, thirty-five  years;  Berean  Baptist  Church,  thirty  years. 


Social  agencies  in  the  Negro  communities  are  an  expression  of  group  effort 
to  adjust  itself  to  the  larger  community.  Within  the  Negro  community 
there  are  two  types,  those  especially  for  Negroes  and  those  which  are  branches 
of  the  agencies  of  the  larger  community  but  located  conveniently  for  use  by 


Chicago  Urban  League. — This  organization  is  one  of  the  thirty-two  branches 
of  the  National  Urban  League  whose  headquarters  are  in  New  York  City. 
It  was  estabhshed  in  Chicago  in  1917  during  the  period  of  heaviest  migration 
of  Negroes  to  the  city.  The  numerous  problems  consequent  upon  this  influx 
guided  the  development  of  the  League's  activities.    Its  executive  board  and 

Located  at  Prairie  Avenue  near  Thirty-first  Street,  purchased  recently  by  Negroes 



Located  at  Thirty-third  Street  and  Indiana  Avenue      Formerlv  ■,  Tp,„m,  - 
recently  by  Nesroes.  ^  °™™y  a  Jewish  synagogue,  purchased 


officers  are  whites  and  Negroes  of  high  standing  and  influence  in  both  the 
white  and  Negro  groups,  and  it  is  supported  by  voluntary  subscriptions. 
Within  four  years  this  organization  has  taken  the  leading  place  among  aU 
the  social  agencies  working  especially  among  Negroes.  It  has  a  well-trained 
staff  of  twelve  paid  workers,  and  its  work  is  carried  out  along  the  lines  accepted 
in  modern  social  work.  The  League  has  organized  its  activities  as  follows: 
Administration  Department,  Industrial  Department,  Research  and  Records 
Department,  Children's  Department,  settlement  work. 

The  work  of  the  Administration  Department  involves,  in  addition  to 
general  management,  co-operation  with  other  agencies  and  co-ordination  of 
their  efforts  for  community  improvement  through  interracial  meetings, 
conferences,  and  joint  undertakings. 

The  Industrial  Department  during  1920  placed  more  than  15,000  Negroes 
in  positions,  made  industrial  investigations  in  sixteen  plants,  provided  lectures 
for  workingmen  in  plants  and  for  foremen  over  Negro  workers.  It  also 
investigates  complaints  of  workers,  selects  and  fits  men  for  positions,  secures 
positions  for  Negroes  where  Negroes  have  never  worked  before,  and  assists 
in  other  ways  the  adjustment  of  Negroes  in  industry.  More  than  25,000 
persons  passed  through  the  department  during  1920. 

The  Department  of  Research  and  Records  makes  the  investigations  on 
the  basis  of  which  the  programs  of  the  League  are  carried  out.  Its  information 
is  a  permanent  and  growing  body  of  material  useful  to  all  agencies  and  persons 
interested  in  obtaining  reUable  information  concerning  Negroes  in  Chicago. 

The  Children's  Department  handles  cases  of  boys  and  girls  and  co-operates 
with  the  schools,  juvenile  protective  organizations,  the  juvenile  court  and 
probation  department,  and  various  other  child-helping  institutions.  A  total 
of  540  such  cases  were  adjusted  during  1920. 

During  1919  a  total  of  $28,659  was  raised  and  used  in  the  support  of  the 
Chicago  Urban  League. 

The  Wendell  Phillips  Settlement  on  the  West  Side  is  under  the  supervision 
of  the  League.  The  settlement  has  a  day  niirsery  and  provides  a  center  and 
leadership  for  twenty-five  groups  in  the  West  Side  community. 

Wabash  Avenue  Y.M.C.A. — This  organization  is  a  branch  of  the  local 
Young  Men's  Christian  Association,  but  because  of  its  location  and  the 
peculiar  social  problems  of  its  membership  and  vicinity,  it  has  become  one  of 
the  strongest  agencies  of  the  community.  Its  work  is  among  boys  and  yoxmg 
men,  many  of  whom  are  industrial  workers  in  various  plants.  Community 
work  is  vigorously  promoted.  In  1920  an  enthusiastic  group  of  1,137  boys  was 
enhsted  in  a  neighborhood  clean-up  campaign,  and  100  community  gardens 
were  put  in  operation.  Moving  pictures  and  community  singing  were  provided 
during  the  summer  months.  The  following  list  gives  some  statistics  of  activities 
for  the  first  nine  months  of  1920. 



Attendance  at  building 140, 740 

Attendance  at  reading-room i9)402 

Attendance  at  Bible  classes i ,  S14 

Attendance  at  industrial  dubs 5,394 

Attendance  at  entertainments 6,542 

Meals  served 100,610 

Dormitory  attendance 71,396 

Persons  directed  to  rooms 614 

Persons  assisted i ,  526 

Persons  reached  through  community  work 10,406 

Personal  religious  interviews 396 

Men  referred  to  churches 196 


Men  used  swimming-pool 3,604 

Boys  used  swimming-pool 14,096 

Men  and  boys  used  shower  baths 24,332 

Participated  in  leagues  and  tournament 3,906 

Spectators 44 ,  742 

Men  attended  gymnasium  classes 5 ,622 

Boys  attended  gynmasium  classes 17,  ro6 

In  addition  to  the  foregoing  work  this  institution  has  promoted  efficiency 
and  industrial  clubs  among  Negro  workers  in  industrial  plants,  three  glee 
clubs,  noonday  recreational  programs,  and  ijine  baseball  teams. 

During  1919  the  total  contributions  for  support  were  $15,353,  of  which 
$3,100  came  from  Negroes.  The  membership  dues  of  the  latter,  however, 
totaled  $16,000  and  receipts  from  operation  amounted  to  $143,747. 

Chicago  Branch  of  the  National  Association  for  the  Advancement  of  Colored 
People. — This  organization  aims  to  carry  out  the  general  policies  of  the  National 
Association  as  far  as  they  apply  to  Chicago.  The  national  purpose  is  to 
combat  injustice  against  Negroes,  stamp  out  race  discriminations,  prevent 
lynchings,  burnings,  and  torturings  of  Negroes,  and,  when  they  do  occur,  to 
demand  the  prosecution  of  those  responsible,  to  assure  to  every  citizen  of  color 
the  common  rights  of  an  American  citizen,  and  secure  for  colored  children 
equal  opportunity  in  public-school  education. 

In  Chicago,  the  principal  efforts  of  this  organization  have  been  in  the  line 
of  securing  justice  for  Negroes  in  the  courts  and  opposing  race  discriminations 
in  public  accommodations.  Its  most  active  period  followed  the  riots  of  1919. 
With  a  number  of  competent  attorneys,  white  and  Negro,  it  gave  legal  support 
to  Negro  riot  victims  and  followed  through  the  courts  the  cases  of  many  Negroes 
accused  of  participation  in  rioting. 

Community  service. — The  South  Side  Community  Service  is  a  re-established 
organization  growing  out  of  the  Soldiers  and  Sailors'  Club.  It  aims  to  provide 
wholesome  recreation  and  leisure-time  activities  for  its  neighborhood.    At 








Community  House,  3201  South  Wabash  Avenue,  it  serves  a  number  of  organiza- 
tions, arranges  supervised  dances,  dramatics,  programs,  and  other  entertain- 
ment for  the  groups. 

Wendell  Phillips  Settlement. — The  Wendell  Phillips  Settlement  is  located 
on  the  West  Side  at  2009  Walnut  Street  and  has  been  under  the  supervision 
of  the  Chicago  Urban  League  since  1918.  It  has  a  day  nursery,  serves  as 
a  center  for  twenty-five  different  groups,  and  provides  the  only  pubhc  meeting 
place  for  Negroes  apart  from  the  churches,  on  the  West  Side.  There  is  a 
Boy  Scout  division  and  a  division  especially  for  women  and  girls. 

Butler  Community  Center. — The  Butler  Community  Center  is  located  on 
the  North  Side  in  a  neighborhood  with  about  2,000  Negroes.  About  250 
persons  use  the  Center  regularly. ,  There  are  classes  in  citizenship,  hygiene, 
Negro  history,  sewing,  and  china  painting.  There  is  an  organization  of 
Camp  Fire  Girls  and  a  Boys'  Group.  Through  courses  of  lectures  instruction 
is  given  in  hygiene,  sanitation,  and  first  aid. 

Phyllis  Wheatley  Home. — ^The  Phyllis  Wheatley  Home  was  estabhshed 
several  years  ago  to  provide  wholesome  home  surroundings  for  colored  girls 
and  women  who  are  strangers  in  the  city  and  to  house  them  until  they  find 
safe  and  comfortable  quarters.  The  building  at  3256  Rhodes  Avenue,  which 
has  been  purchased,  accommodates  about  twenty  girls. 

Home  for  the  Aged  and  Infirm. — The  Home  for  Aged  and  Infirm  Colored 
People  on  West  Garfield  Boulevard  is  supported  almost  entirely  by  contributions 
from  Negroes. 

Indiana  Avenue  Y.W.C.A. — The  Indiana  Avenue  branch  of  the  Y.W.C.A. 
on  the  South  Side  is  under  the  general  direction  of  the  Central  Y.W.C.A.  of 
Chicago.  Its  directors  are  Negro  women.  Many  girls  are  directed  in  their 
activities  by  volunteer  group  leaders  from  the  community.  The  Industrial 
Department  secures  employment  for  Negro  girls.  A  small  number  of  girls 
Uve  in  the  building  at  3541  Indiana  Avenue,  and  a  room  directory  is  maintained 
through  which  safe  homes  are  secvired  for  girls  who  are  strangers  in  the  city, 
or  who  have  no  family  connections.  Mrs.  Martha  G.  McAdoo  is  the  executive 

Elaine  Eome  Club  and  Johnson  Home  for  Girls. — The  Elaine  Home  Club 
and  the  JuUa  Johnson  Home  for  Girls  are  small  institutions  which  provide 
living  accommodations  under  careful  supervision  for  young  working  girls. 

Hartzell  Center. — ^Hartzell  Center  is  a  social  institution  under  the  direction 
of  the  South  Park  Methodist  Episcopal  Chxurch.  It  has  a  commercial  school, 
in  which  typewriting  and  stenography  are  taught,  a  cafeteria,  and  some  social 

Illinois  Technical  School. — ^The  Illinois  Technical  School  for  Colored  Girls, 
a  Catholic  Institution,  serves  as  a  boarding  and  technical  school  for  colored 
girls.  It  accommodates  about  100  girls.  Sister  Augustina  is  the  superin- 


Woodlawn  Community  Association. — This  is  a  neighboAood  organization 
originally  intended  to  interest  the  Negroes  of  the  Woodlawn  community  in 
taking  pride  in  their  property  and  in  making  the  neighborhood  more  desirable 
for  residence  purposes.  It  has  extended  its  functions  to  include  community 
activities  and  civic  welfare  program. 

Louise  Training  School  for  Colored  Boys. — This  school  is  at  Homewood, 
Illinois,  about  twenty-five  miles  from  Chicago;  imtil  1918  it  was  located  at  6130 
South  Ada  Street.  It  receives  dependent  boys  between  eight  and  fifteen  years 
of  age.  Some  of  these  boys  are  placed  in  the  institution  by  the  Cook  County 
authorities.  The  institution  can  accommodate  only  a  few.  At  present 
thirty-two  boys  are  cared  for  in  the  dormitory.  This  is  the  only  institution 
in  the  city  for  dependent  colored  boys. 


American  Red  Cross. — The  American  Red  Cross  has  a  branch  headquarters 
at  102  East  Thirty-fifth  Street.  It  gives  emergency  reUef,  general  information 
and  advice,  and  has  been  active  in  helping  the  families  of  Negro  service  men. 
During  the  riot  of  1919  it  provided  food  for  thousands  of  Negroes  who  were 
cut  oflE  from  work. 

United  Charities. — The  United  Charities,  which  provides  relief  and  other 
help  for  needy  families,  has  four  branches  convenient  for  use  by  Negroes: 
one  at  2959  South  Michigan  Avenue,  near  the  center  of  the  main  Negro  resi- 
dence area  on  the  South  Side;  another  at  1701  Grand  Avenue,  near  the  West 
Side  Negro  residence  area;  another  at  102  East  Oak  Street,  near  the  North 
Side  area;  and  another  at  6309  Yale  Avenue,  convenient  for  Negroes  Uving 
in  Woodlawn,  in  the  vicinity  of  Ogden  Park  and  in  the  southern  part  of  the 
South  Side  residence  area. 

The  Illinois  Children's  Home  and  Aid  Society. — ^This  society  has  two  field 
representatives  who  find  homes  for  dependent  Negro  children  and  supervise 
their  placing.  Since  1919  it  has  placed  and  supervised  more  than  168  Negro 

Abraham  Lincoln  Center. — The  Abraham  Lincoln  Center  is  at  Langley 
Avenue  and  Oakwood  Boulevard.  Although  originally  not  used  by  Negroes, 
the  movement  of  the  Negro  population  southward  has  added  many  of  them  to 
the  group  of  people  using  its  facilities.  There  is  a  boys'  group,  a  branch 
Ubrary,  and  a  neighborhood  visitor.  Negroes  are  welcomed  in  most  of  the 
activities  of  this  center.    Miss  Susan  Quackenbush  is  the  resident. 


Provident  Hospital  and  Training  School. — ^Provident  Hospital  and  Training 
School  is  supported  and  controlled  by  whites  and  Negroes.  It  has  a  mixed 
board  of  directors.  Practically  all  its  physicians  and  all  its  internes  and 
nurses  are  Negroes.  For  the  year  ended  June,  1919,  the  hospital  handled 
1,421  patients,  served  682  persons  through  its  dispensary,  and  gave  free  medical 


Located  at  3032  South  Wabash  Avenue 

Located  at  3201  South  Wahash  Avenue 


care  to  143.  Of  the  total  number  of  patients  in  the  hospital  during  1919, 
1,248  were  Negroes,  and  173  were  white.  Support  of  the  institution  comes 
from  patients  and  donations.  During  1919  the  receipts  from  patients  totaled 
$36,445.81;  from  donations  $5,782.07.  Donations  in  drugs  totaled  $1,505.95, 
and  from  the  dispensary  $112.05.  The  expenses  for  the  year  were  $42,002.35. 
The  hospital  has  an  endowment  fund  of  $47,350,  invested  in  securities.  It  has 
a  training  school  for  Negro  nurses  whose  faculty  is  made  up  of  prominent 
white  and  Negro  physicians  and  surgeons. 

Municipal  Tuberculosis  Sanitarium. — The  two  branches  of  this  institution 
which  are  in  Negro  neighborhoods,  at  2950  Calumet  Avenue  and  4746  South 
Wabash  Avenue,  and  the  Children's  South  Side  Dispensary,  705  West  Forty- 
seventh  Street,  are  municipal  agencies  so  located  that  they  are  convenient  for 

South  Side  Dispensary. — This  is  at  2531  South  Dearborn  Street  and  is 
supported  by  the  Northwestern  University  Medical  School.  It  gives  free  care 
to  those  unable  to  pay  for  medical  services. 


Social  agencies,  although  their  work  is  limited  as  respects  the  Negro  group, 
have  for  many  years  taken  second  place  to  the  churches  in  self-support.  This 
is  accounted  for  largely  by  the  fact  that  social  work  in  general  has  been  regarded 
as  a  philanthropic  rather  than  a  co-operative  matter.  With  Negro  social 
and  philanthropic  agencies,  especially  during  the  period  of  general  unsettlement 
following  the  migration,  the  number  of  possible  beneficiaries  greatly  increased, 
while  the  group  of  Negroes  educated  in  giving  to  such  agencies  grew  more 
slowly.  Recently,  however,  support  from  Negroes  for  their  own  institutions 
has  gradually  been  increasing.  An  example  is  found  in  the  Urban  League. 
In  1917  Negroes  contributed  $1,000  and  in  1919  $3,000.  During  1920  six 
social  agencies  and  twenty-seven  churches  raised  among  Negroes  approximately 
$445,000.  Although  Negroes  contribute  in  some  measure  to  agencies  like  the 
United  Charities  and  American  Red  Cross,  there  is  no  means  of  knowing  or 
accurately  estimating  the  amount. 



Consideration  of  the  housing  problem  as  a  continuing  factor  in  the  experi- 
ence of  Negro  families  led  to  an  effort  to  study  it  from  a  new  angle  of  approach 
— through  histories  of  typical  families  in  the  Negro  community. 

The  data  thus  gathered  afford  an  opportunity  to  present  an  interpretative 
account  of  Negro  family  life,  setting  forth  the  intimate  problems  confronting 
Negroes  in  Chicago,  their  daily  social  difficulties,  the  reflection  in  their  home  life 
of  their  struggle  for  existence,  just  how  they  live,  how  they  participate  in  the 
activities  of  the  Negro  community  and  the  community  at  large,  their  own 
opinions  concerning  civic  problems,  their  housing  experience,  how  much  they 
earn  and  how  much  they  save,  how  much  they  spend  and  what  value  they 
receive  from  these  expenditures,  how  they  spend  their  spare  time,  and  how 
they  seek  to  improve  their  condition  in  the  community. 

A  selection  was  made  of  274  Negro  families  Uving  in  all  sections  of  Chicago. 
Three  Negro  women,  well  equipped  to  deal  intelligently  and  sympathetically 
with  these  families,  gathered  this  information.  These  274  families  lived  in 
238  blocks,  the  distribution  being  such  that  no  type  of  neighborhood  or  division 
of  the  Negro  population  was  overlooked.  The  questionnaire  employed  con- 
tained five  pages  of  questions  and  required  an  interview  of  about  two  hours. 
Special  effort  was  made  to  secure  purely  social  information  without  the  aid 
of  leading  questions. 


For  the  most  part  the  physical  surroimdings  of  the  Negro  family,  as 
indicated  by  these  family  histories,  are  poor.  The  majority  of  these  houses 
fall  within  the  classifications  noted  as  Types  "C"  and  "D"  in  the  discussion 
of  the  physical  condition  of  housing.' 

On  the  South  Side,  where  most  of  the  Negro  population  lives,  the  low 
quality  of  housing  is  widespread,  although  there  are  some  houses  of  a  better 
grade  which  are  greatly  in  demand. 

The  ordinary  conveniences,  considered  necessities  by  the  average  white 
citizen,  are  often  lacking.  Bathrooms  are  often  missing.  Gas  lighting  is 
common,  and  electric  lighting  is  a  rarity.  Heating  is  commonly  done  by  wood 
or  coal  stoves,  and  furnaces  are  rather  exceptional;  when  furnaces  are  present, 
they  are  sometimes  out  of  commission. 

See  p.  186, 



Under  the  heading  of  "Housing  Conditions"  such  notations  as  these  are 
often  found: 

No  gas,  bath,  or  toilet.  Plumbing  very  bad;  toilet  leaks;  bowl  broken;  leak  in 
kitchen  sink;  water  stands  in  kitchen;  leak  in  bath  makes  ceiUng  soggy  and  wet  all 
the  time.  Plastering  ofE  in  front  room.  General  appearance  very  bad  inside  and  out. 
Had  to  get  city  behind  owner  to  put  in  windows,  clean,  and  repair  plumbing.  Heat 
poor;  house  damp.  Plumbing  bad;  leaks.  Hot-water  heater  out  of  order.  Needs 
repairing  done  to  roof  and  floors.  In  bad  repair;  toilet  in  yard  used  by  two  families. 
Toilet  ofi  from  dining-room;  fixtures  for  gas;  no  gas;  just  turned  off;  no  bath; 
doors  out  of  order;  won't  fasten.  Sanitary  conditions  poor;  dilapidated  condition; 
toilet  won't  flush;  carries  water  to  bathtub.  Plumbing  bad;  roof  leaks;  plastering 
ofi;  no  bath  or  gas;  general  repairs  needed;  very  dirty.  Plumbing  bad;  plastering 
off  in  toilet ;  window  panes  broken  and  out ;  no  bath  or  gas.  Plastering  off  from  water 
that  leaks  from  flat  above;  toilet  leaks;  does  not  flush;  washbowl  and  bath  leak 
very  badly;  repairs  needed  on  back  porch;  rooms  need  calcimining.  No  water  in 
hydrant  in  hall;  no  toilet,  bath,  or  gas;  general  repair  needed.  Water  not  turned  on 
for  sink  in  kitchen ;  water  for  drinking  and  cooking  purposes  must  be  carried  in ;  toilet 
used  by  four  fanuhes;  asked  landlord  to  turn  on  water  in  kitchen;  told  them  to  move; 
roof  leaks;  stairs  and  back  porch  in  bad  order.  Sewer  gas  escapes  from  basement 
pipes;  water  stands  in  basement.  House  dirty;  flues  in  bad  condition;  gas  pipes 
leak;  porch  shaky.  No  heat  and  no  hot  water;  no  repairing  done;  no  screens;  gas 
leaks  all  over  house;  stationary  tubs  leak.  Water  pipes  rotted  out;  gas  pipes  leak. 
Toilet  leaks;  plastering  off;  windowpanes  out.  Plastering  off;  large  rat  holes  all 
over;  paper  hanging  from  ceiling. 

This  is  the  conimon  situation  of  the  dweller  in  the  districts  mentioned. 
The  variations  are  in  degree  rather  than  kind.  To  dwellings  a  little  better 
in  sanitation  and  repair  than  those  just  described,  the  adjective  "fair"  was 

Occasionally  a  Negro  family  manages  to  escape  from  this  wretched  t3^e 
of  dwelling  in  the  "Black  Belt."  Some  who  were  financially  able  purchased 
homes  in  Woodlawn,  for  example,  where  they  live  much  as  white  residents  do, 
supplied  with  the  comforts  and  conveniences  of  life  and  in  fairly  clean,  whole- 
some surroimdings.  There,  as  a  rule,  the  physical  equipment  of  their  dwellings 
is  good  and  is  kept  in  repair.  In  some  instances  they  have  hot-water  heating, 
electric  lighting,  and  gas  for  cooking  purposes.  They  ordinarily  redecorate 
once  a  year,  take  proper  care  of  their  garbage,  keep  the  lawns  cut  and  the 
premises  clean;  and  otherwise  reveal  a  natural  and  normal  pride  of  ownership. 

In  this  respect  the  Negro  residents  of  Woodlawn  are  far  more  fortunate 
than  many  of  their  race  brothers  who  have  purchased  dwellings  in  the  "Black 
Belt."  Many  of  these  purchases  have  been  made  by  migrants  on  long-time 
payments,  and  large  expenditure  would  be  required  to  put  the  houses  in  repair 
and  keep  them  so.  Purchases  made  by  Negroes  in  Woodlawn  have  been  chiefly 
of  substantial  dwellings,  not  necessarily  new  but  in  good  condition  and  needing 
only  ordinary  repairs  from  time  to  time. 



Except  where  the  property  is  owned  by  Negroes  there  is  frequent  moving. 
The  records  obtained  of  these  movements  give  a  great  variety  of  reasons. 
A  strong  desire  to  improve  living  conditions  appears  with  sufficient  frequency 
to  indicate  that  it  is  the  leading  motive.  Buying  a  home  is  one  of  the  ways 
of  escape  from  intolerable  living  conditions,  but  removal  to  other  houses  or 
fiats  is  more  often  tried.  For  example,  a  man  who  now  owns  his  home  near 
Fifty-first  Street  and  South  Wabash  Avenue — ^living  there  with  his  two  brothers 
and  five  lodgers — ^has  moved  sis  times,  "  to  live  in  a  better  house  and  a  better 
neighborhood."  A  family  now  living  near  Thirty-first  Street  and  Prairie 
Avenue,  resident  in  Chicago  since  1893,  has  moved  four  times,  three  times  to 
obtain  better  houses  in  better  neighborhoods  and  once  to  get  nearer  to  work. 
A  man  and  wife  living  near  Fifty-third  and  South  Dearborn  streets  have  moved 
four  times  since  coming  to  Chicago  in  1908.  A  family  living  on  East  Forty- 
fifth  Street  and  paying  $60  a  month  rent  for  six  rooms  has  moved  twice  since 
1900  to  "better  and  cleaner  houses."  Another  family  paying  $65  a  month 
for  eight  rooms  on  East  Bowen  Avenue  has  moved  twice  since  1905  into 
better  houses  and  neighborhoods.  "  Better  house  "  and  "  better  neighborhood  " 
were  the  most  frequently  given  reasons. 

Of  kindred  nature  are  these:  leaky  roof;  house  cold;  dirty;  inconvenient;  did 
not  like  living  in  rear  flat;  to  better  conditions;  better  houses  away  from  questionable 
places;  landlord  would  not  clean;  first  floor  not  healthy;  small  and  undesirable; 
not  desirable  flat;  poor  pliunbing;  didn't  like  neighborhood;  moved  to  better  quar- 
ters; landlord  would  not  repair;  house  too  damp;  no  windows;  owner  would  not 
fix  water  pipes;  more  room  wanted;  better  environment  for  children;  better  street; 
no  yard  for  children;  better  people;  house  in  bad  condition;  more  conveniences  for 


The  normal  family  is  generally  recognized  as  consisting  of  five  persons — 
two  parents  and  three  children.  Properly  they  should  make  up  a  single 
group  and  live  by  themselves.  The  274  families  studied  were  chosen  as 
follows:  in  the  most  populous  district,  from  Thirty-first  to  Thirty-ninth 
streets  and  from  Wentworth  Avenue  to  Lake  Michigan,  ninety-nine  family 
histories  were  taken;  in  the  district  north  of  Thirty-first  Street  to  Twelfth 
Street  and  from  Wentworth  Avenue  to  the  Lake,  forty-sk;  in  the  narrow 
strip  in  Hyde  Park  known  as  the  Lake  Park  district,  thirty-seven;  in  the  district 
from  Thirty-ninth  to  Sixtieth  streets  and  from  Wentworth  to  Cottage  Grove 
Avenue,  thirty-six;  on  the  West  Side,  sixteen;  in  the  Ogden  Park  district, 
fifteen;  on  the  North  Side,  fourteen;  and  in  Woodlawn,  eleven.  For  conven- 
ience, as  well  as  to  show  contrasts  or  like  conditions,  the  material  has  been 
analyzed  and  interpreted  by  districts. 

There  was  found  a  wide  variation  in  the  family  groups,  comprising  six 
classifications,  in  three  of  which  no  lodgers  appear.    A  lodger  here  means 


















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ARGO  TO  STATE  &  31'-'  5T  VIA  ARCHER  AVE  &  STATE  ST 


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)ME  or  WHITE  EMPLOYEE      588  1329  1917 


an  adult  not  a  member  of  the  immediate  family.  Thus  relatives,  unless 
infants  or  children,  are  classed  as  lodgers.  The  three  groups  without  lodgers 
are:  (i)  man  and  wife;  (2)  two  parents  and  children;  (3)  a  parent  and  children. 
The  other  three  groups  with  lodgers  are:  (id)  man  and  wife  and  lodgers; 
(2ffl)  man,  wife,  children,  and  lodgers;  (30)  man  or  woman,  surviving  head  of 
the  family,  with  lodgers. 

Of  the  total  274  family  groups  there  were  104  without  lodgers  and  170, 
or  62  per  cent,  with  lodgers.  For  the  most  part  the  lodgers  were  found  in 
"  20"  classification — in  families.  There  were  ninety-two  such  groups  and  only 
sixty-one  families  with  no  lodgers.  Forty-two  couples  had  lodgers,  and  in 
thirty-six  instances  a  man  or  woman  liviag  alone  had  lodgers.  Thirty-nine 
couples  were  living  alone,  and  in  only  four  instances  was  there  a  parent  alone 
with  a  child. 

The  Negro  colony  in  Woodlawn  approaches  most  nearly  the  normal 
family  grouping.  Home  ownership  in  that  district  is  fairly  common,  and  the 
houses  for  the  most  part  are  substantial  and  well  fitted  and  suited  to  the 
families.  In  the  eleven  Woodlawn  families  there  was  but  one  where  the  mother 
or  father  was  dead  or  not  living  with  the  family.  Lodgers  were  found  in  only 
four  of  the  eleven  families:  two  were  couples,  one  a  family,  and  the  other  a 
siugle  woman.    In  the  eleven  families  there  were  seventeen  children. 

A  marked  contrast  with  this  section  is  found  in  the  congested  Negro 
district  between  Thirty-first  and  Thirty-ninth  streets.  Out  of  a  total  of 
ninety-niae  families  seventy- two  had  lodgers,  or  72  per  cent  as  contrasted 
with  36  per  cent  in  Woodlawn  and  62  per  cent  for  the  total  274  cases.  In 
this  district  there  were  forty-two  families  with  children,  thirteen  couples 
without  children,  and  seventeen  where  a  man  or  woman  took  lodgers.  There 
were  only  fourteen  families  without  lodgers,  and  thirteen  couples  hving 

North  of  Thirty-first  Street  in  this  South  Side  area  were  similar  conditions. 
Of  forty-six  households  studied,  twenty-seven,  or  58.7  per  cent,  had  lodgers: 
of  these  sixteen  were  families  with  children,  nine  were  couples  and  two  were 
man  or  woman  with  children.  Of  the  households  without  lodgers,  there  were 
twelve  families  with  children,  five  couples  liviag  alone,  and  two  instances  of 
parent  and  child. 

The  percentage  of  families  with  lodgers  was  highest  in  the  Lake  Park 
district,  75.6  per  cent.  On  the  West  Side  it  was  68  per  cent,  a  trifle  higher 
than  for  the  entire  274  families.  On  the  North  Side  it  was  57  per  cent,  on 
the  South  Side  between  Thirty-ninth  and  Sixtieth  streets,  41.6  per  cent,  and 
in  the  Ogden  Park  district  40  per  cent. 

The  Ogden  Park  district,  with  a  relatively  low  percentage  of  families  having 
lodgers,  resembles  the  Woodlawn  district  in  many  respects.  The  houses  are 
built  for  single  families  and  are  largely  owned  by  Negroes  who  have  lived  in 
that  locality  for  many  years.    Of  the  fifteen  families  there  visited,  nine  had 


no  lodgers;  and  of  the  seven  with  lodgers,  four  were  families  and  two  were 
couples  without  children. 

Rx)mn_crgw^Mg. — ^A  study  of  Negro  housing  made  in  1909  by  the  Chicago 
School  of  Civics  and  Philanthropy  brought  out  the  fact  that,  although  Negro 
families  find  it  extremely  difficult  to  obtain  a  flat  of  three  or  four  rooms, 
they  dojtiot  crowd  together  as  much  as  white  immigrants;  that  Negroes  take 
larger  flats  or  houses  and  rent  rooms  to  lodgers  to  help  pay  the  rent,  and  thus 
lessen  crowding  among  the  members  of  the  family.  Among  the  274  families 
studied  by  the  Commission  there  was  comparatively  little  overcrowding. 
One  room  to  a  person  is  a  standard  of  room  occupancy  generally  accepted  by 
housing  authorities  as  involving  no  overcrowding.  Of  these  274  Negro 
households,  only  sixty-seven  exceeded  the  standard.  There  were,  of  course, 
wide  divergences  from  the  standard.  For  example,  there  were  eight  instances 
of  six  persons  Hving  in  five  rooms;  six  of  eight  persons  living  in  six  rooms; 
four  of  six  persons  hving  in  four  rooms;  one  of  six  persons  living  in  three  rooms; 
one  of  seven  persons  hving  in  three  rooms;  two  of  seven  persons  living  in  four 
rooms;  two  of  eight  persons  hving  in  five  rooms;  one  of  nine  persons  hving 
in  five  rooms;  and  one  of  eleven  persons  living  in  five  rooms. 

In  the  cases  of  unusually  large  families,  either  in  the  number  of  children  or 
lodgers,  there  was  a  corresponding  increase  in  the  number  of  rooms.  Thus  in 
the  case  of  fourteen  persons  making  up  one  family,  they  were  Hving  in  ten  rooms. 

The  five-room  dwelling  was  the  most  common,  with  fifty-nine  families;  six- 
room,  forty-seven;  seven-room,  forty- two;  four-room,  forty-one. 

In  the  Ogden  Park  district  the  standard  of  one  person  to  one  room  was 
most  closely  adhered  to.  All  the  fifteen  famihes  studied  in  that  district  were 
housed  in  four-,  five-,  or  six-room  dwellings;  ten  of  them  in  five-room  dwellings. 
In  Woodlawn  the  tendency  was  toward  somewhat  larger  dwellings.  There 
were  no  four-  and  five-room  dweUings,  but  five  of  seven  rooms  and  three  of  six 
rooms,  one  each  of  eight  and  three  rooms.  The  four-room  dwelling  was  most 
prevalent  on  the  North  Side.  Of  the  foiurteen  families  studied  there,  six  were 
in  such  dweUings.  There  were  two  dwellings  of  six  rooms,  two  of  seven, 
one  of  five,  two  of  three,  and  one  of  eleven  rooms. 

On  the  West  Side,  also,  thirteen  of  the  sixteen  families  were  housed  in  four-, 
five-,  six-,  or  seven-room  dweUings,  the  five-room  type  predominating.  In  the 
Lake  Park  district  the  five-room  type  was  most  frequent,  there  being  eleven 
of  these  out  of  a  total  of  thirty-seven,  six  of  six  rooms  and  seven  of  seven  rooms, 
the  next  largest  group  being  five  of  eight  rooms. 

On  the  South  Side  in  the  district  from  Thirty-first  to  Thirty-ninth  Street, 
out  of  a  total  of  ninety-nine  there  were  eighteen  famihes  in  five-room  dweUings, 
seventeen  in  foiur-room,  nine  in  three-room,  ten  in  six-room,  fourteen  in  seven- 
room,  and  eight  in  ten-room  dweUings.  In  the  district  north  of  Thirty-first 
Street  the  predominating  size  was  six-room  dweUings,  of  which  there  were 
eleven,  and  there  were  nine  of  four  rooms,  seven  of  five  rooms,  and  seven  of 


seven  rooms,  the  rest  scattering  from  one-room  dwellings  to  one  dwelling  of 
thirteen  rooms.  From  Thirty-ninth  to  Sixtieth  streets,  six-room  dwellings 
were  most  frequent,  there  being  eight  of  these  out  of  a  total  of  thirty-six,  and 
there  were  seven  of  five  rooms,  six  of  six  rooms,  and  six  of  seven  rooms.  The 
dwellings  occupied  by  Negroes  south  of  Thirty-ninth  Street,  it  should  be 
noticed,  are  larger  than  those  north  of  that  street. 

The  grouping  of  the  274  families  according  to  number  of  persons  is  as 

Families  Persons  to  Family 

48  4 

40  2 

35  3 

37  S 

30  7 

29  6 

22  8 

17  9  or  more 

16  Not  recorded 


Four  persons  to  a  "family"  was  the  most  common  type,  there  being  forty- 
eight  of  these  out  of  the  274.  In  the  Woodlawn  and  Ogden  Park  districts 
the  group  of  three  was  predominant.  The  North  Side  district  grouping  of 
two  persons  to  a  family  is  partly  due  to  the  inclusion  of  nine  "groups"  of  one 
person  each  who  were  interviewed  mainly  for  data  beariug  upon  industrial 
relationships.  The  tables  show  a  total  of  sixteen  such  groups  iu  the  eight 
districts;  but  they  are  not  deemed  sufficient  to  vitiate  the  statistics. 

Negroes  have  more  space  in  their  living  quarters  than  do  other  Chicago 
people  housed  in  similar  grades  of  dwellings.  They  were  usually  found  in 
dwellings  of  five  rooms  for  each  family,  while  the  prevailing  size  among  the 
foreign  groups  was  four  rooms,  as  disclosed  by  the  Chicago  School  of  Civics 
housing  studies  from  1909  to  1917.  In  the  School's  earliest  study  of  the 
Negroes  it  was  said: 

The  colored  families  do  not  as  a  rule  live  in  the  small  and  cramped  apartments  in 
which  other  nationalities  are  so  often  found.  Even  the  families  who  apply  to  the 
United  Charities  for  relief  are  frequently  living  in  apartments  which  would  be  con- 
sidered adequate,  as  far  as  the  nmnber  of  rooms  is  concerned,  for  famiUes  in  com- 
fortable circumstances. 

Some  marked  exceptions,  of  course,  were  found. 

The  four-room  dwelling  was  found  to  prevail  among  the  Slovaks  of  the 
Twentieth  Ward,  the  Lithuanians  of  the  Fourth  Ward,  the  Greeks  and  Italians 
in  the  neighborhood  of  Hull-House,  the  various  central  and  southern  European 
nationalities  who  work  in  the  South  Chicago  steel  mUIs  and  live  near-by, 
and  among  the  Jews,  Bohemians,  and  Poles  of  the  West  Side. 


The  lodger  problem. — ^The  prevalence  of  lodgers  is  one  of  the  most  conspicu- 
ous problems  in  the  Negro  housing  situation.  It  is  largely  a  social  question. 
The  difficulty  of  finding  a  home  adequate  for  a  family  of  four  or  five  persons 
at  a  reasonable  rent  has  forced  many  Negroes  to  take  over  large  buUdings 
in  better  localities  and  in  better  physical  condition  but  with  much  higher  rents. 
To  meet  these  rents  they  have  taken  lodgers.  It  was  seldom  possible  to 
investigate  the  character  of  the  lodgers.  The  arrangement  of  these  large 
houses,  originally  intended  for  single-family  use,  prevents  famUy  privacy 
when  lodgers  are  added,  making  a  difficult  situation  for  families  with  children. 
Again,  the  migration  brought  to  the  city  many  unattached  men  and  women 
who  could  find  no  other  place  to  live  except  in  families.  Thus  it  happens  that 
in  Negro  families  the  lodger  problem  is  probably  more  pressing  than  in  any 
other  group  of  the  community.  Not  only  do  lodgers  constitute  a  social 
problem  for  the  famUy,  but,  having  little  or  no  interest  in  the  appearance 
and  condition  of  the  property,  they  are  in  many  instances  careless  and  irrespon- 
sible and  contribute  to  the  rapid  deterioration  of  the  buildings. 

As  previously  explained,  the  term  "lodgers,"  in  this  report,  includes 
relations  as  well  as  other  adults  unrelated  to  the  family.  It  was  apparent  in 
the  study  that  there  was  a  large  number  of  relative-lodgers  in  Negro  families. 
The  recent  migration  from  the  South  had  a  distinct  bearing  on  this  situation. 
Many  Negroes  came  to  Chicago  at  the  solicitation  of  relatives  and  remained 
in  their  households  until  they  could  secure  homes  for  themselves.  The  migra- 
tion further  accounts  for  the  accentuation  of  the  lodger  problem  diuring  the 
period  immediately  following  it.  The  274  family  histories  include  1,319 
persons,  of  whom  485,  or  35  per  cent,  were  lodgers,  living  in  62  per  cent  of  the 
households.  The  greatest  number  of  households  with  lodgers  were  those 
living  in  five-room  dwellings.  There  were  thirty-eight  such  households. 
Liviag  in  six-  and  seven-room  dwellings  were  thirty-four  families  with  lodgers. 
Families  with  only  one  lodger  were  most  numerous.  There  were  fifty-five 
such  families  as  compared  with  thirty-nine  having  two  lodgers,  twenty-five 
with  three  lodgers,  twenty-three  with  four  lodgers,  thirteen  with  six  lodgers, 
eight  with  five  lodgers,  and  seven  with  more  than  six  lodgers. 

Naturally  the  lodger  evil  was  found  in  its  worst  form  iu  the  congested 
parts  of  the  South  Side.  In  the  district  from  Thirty-first  to  Thirty-ninth 
streets  seventy-two  of  the  ninety-nine  famiUes  had  lodgers.  In  twenty-two 
families  there  was  but  one,  however,  as  against  twelve  with  three  and  four, 
eleven  with  two,  and  six  with  five  and  six  lodgers.  Two  families  had  ten  each, 
and  one  had  thirteen.  This  last  case  was  that  of  a  widow  who  rented  nine 
sleeping-rooms  in  her  ten-room  house,  in  addition  to  catering  at  odd  moments. 
It  was  a  typical  rooming-house  as  distinguished  from  a  family  taking  lodgers. 
One  family  that  had  ten  lodgers  consisted  of  a  man,  his  wife,  and  a  son  twenty- 
five  years  old;  they  had  eight  bedrooms,  seven  opening  into  a  hall.  The  other 
family  that  had  ten  lodgers  consisted  of  the  parents  and  two  children,  a  boy 


of  eight  and  a  girl  of  seven,  and  had  a  ten-room  house.  The  lodgers  were 
two  men  and  three  women,  with  five  children.  Five  of  the  ten  rooms  were 
used  as  sleeping-rooms. 

In  the  district  north  of  Thirty-first  Street  an  increased  number  of  lodgers 
appeared  in  only  one  family,  that  of  a  man  and  his  wife,  without  children. 
They  lived  in  a  ten-room  house,  using  eight  of  the  rooms  for  sleeping  purposes 
and  accommodating  seven  male  and  five  female  lodgers. 

In  the  district  from  Thirty-ninth  to  Sixtieth  Street  was  one  instance  of 
seven  male  lodgers  in  a  seven-room  house  with  the  man  who  owned  the  prop- 
erty. Two  of  the  lodgers  were  his  brothers.  There  was  no  heat  and  no 
bathroom.    The  house  had  been  reported  to  the  health  department. 

In  the  Lake  Park  district  one,  two,  or  three  lodgers  were  the  rule,  only 
five  of  the  twenty-eight  families  with  lodgers  in  that  district  being  outside  of 
those  three  classes.  Eight  lodgers  were  found  in  an  eight-room  dwelling. 
The  family  consisted  of  man  and  wife,  and  the  only  female  lodger  was  their 
niece.     Five  rooms  were  used  for  sleeping  purposes. 

In  the  other  district  no  instances  of  excessive  overcrowding  due  to  lodgers 
were  found. 

Complaint  has  often  been  made  of  the  numerical  preponderance  of  lodgers 
over  children  among  Chicago  Negroes,  and  comment  has  been  made  on  the 
economic  significance.  It  has  been  suggested,  for  example,  that  economic 
pressure  had  lowered  the  birth-rate  among  Negroes  and  increased  the  infant- 
mortality  rate.  As  indicated  by  the  274  family  histories,  the  number  of  lodgers 
among  the  Negro  population  exceeds  the  number  of  children,  that  is,  the  number 
of  boys  less  than  twenty-one  years  and  girls  less  than  eighteen.  The  School  of 
Civics  and  Philanthropy,  in  its  housing  studies,  counted  as  children  those  less 
than  twelve  years  of  age.  On  this  basis  it  found  in  its  study  of  the  Negroes 
of  the  South  and  West  sides  that  there  were  less  than  half  as  many  children 
as  lodgers  on  the  South  Side,  but  a  more  normal  situation  in  the  West  Side. 
Even  extending  the  ages  of  children,  as  has  been  done  in  the  present  report, 
the  situation  does  not  appear  in  a  much  better  light. 

The  proportion  of  lodgers  and  of  children  in  the  districts  covered  by  the 
Commission  is  shown  in  Table  DC. 

By  way  of  comparison  similar  figures  from  other  housing  studies  of  the 
Chicago  School  of  Civics  might  be  mentioned,  the  children  in  each  instance 
being  less  than  twelve  years  old. 

Among  the  Slovaks  of  the  Twentieth  Ward,  13  per  cent  were  lodgers  and 
32  per  cent  children;  in  South  Chicago,  27.3  per  cent  lodgers  and  25.7  per  cent 
children;  among  the  Greeks  and  Italians  near  HuU-House,  13  per  cent  lodgers 
and  30  per  cent  children;  among  the  Lithuanians  of  the  Fourth  Ward,  28  per 
cent  lodgers  and  27  per  cent  children. 

As  far  as  the  South  Side  is  concerned,  the  situation  with  regard  to  the 
balance  between  lodgers  and  children  has  become  aggravated  since  the  earliest 



School  of  Civics  report  was  issued,  whereas  the  situation  on  the  West  Side 
has  improved  somewhat. 

Where  there  were  children  and  lodgers  together,  a  considerable  number  of 
instances  were  found  which  suggest  probable  injury  to  health  or  morals, 
and  sometimes  both.  Even  where  lodgers  are  relatives,  impairment  of  health 
and  morals  is  threatened  in  certain  circumstances,  especially  if  the  over- 
crowding is  flagrant.  For  example,  a  household  on  South  Dearborn  Street 
near  Thirty-fourth  Street  consisted  of  a  father,  mother,  a  son  of  nineteen 
years,  and  a  baby  girl  of  four  months,  with  three  lodgers,  two  men  and  one 



Percentage  of 

Percentage  of 

South  Side: 

Thirty-first  to  Thirty-ninth 

Twenty-second  to  Thirty-first 

Thirty-ninth  tn  Sivtioth 



21. A 

West  Side 



Lake  Park 

North  Side :   


Ogden  Park 

Total  of  ?74  families 



woman — seven  persons  living  in  seven  rooms  and  sleeping  in  aU  parts  of  the 
house.  One  of  the  lodgers  was  a  sister-in-law,  another  a  nephew  by  marriage, 
and  the  third,  a  stranger,  had  a  bedroom  to  himself.  In  a  ten-room  house  in 
East  Thirty-second  Street  parents  having  a  boy  of  eight  years  and  a  girl  of 
seven  years  were  found  to  have  taken  in  ten  lodgers,  two  of  whom  were  men. 
In  another  instance  five  children,  four  of  them  boys  of  eight,  five,  four,  and  two 
years  and  a  girl  of  eleven,  lived  with  their  parents  and  two  lodgers  in  a  six-room 

In  Ogden  Park,  a  district  which  shows  a  high  percentage  of  children, 
lodgers  sometimes  are  added  to  the  family.  In  one  house  of  five  rooms,  for 
example,  there  were  found  living  twelve  persons — ^father,  mother,  two  sons, 
sixteen  and  seventeen  years  of  age,  four  daughters,  thirty-three,  twenty-four, 
twenty-two,  and  thirteen  years  of  age,  and  four  lodgers — a  daughter,  her 
husband,  and  their  two  infants.  There  were  only  two  bedrooms  for  the 
twelve  persons.  Another  instance  was  that  of  a  family  of  father,  mother, 
four  sons,  nine,  five,  three,  and  two  years,  and  two  daughters,  seven  years  and 
three  weeks,  with  a  sister  of  one  of  Uie  parents  for  a  lodger.  The  nine  persons 
lived  in  five  rooms.  There  were  only  two  beds  in  the  house,  and  one  of  the 
bedrooms  was  not  in  use. 

On  the  South  Side  near  Thirty-first  Street  there  was  a  case  where  a  man 
lodger  occupied  one  bedroom,  the  other  being  used  by  the  parents  and  their 
eight-year-old  daughter — ^four  persons  in  a  four-room  flat.    On  South  Park 


Avenue  near  Twenty-ninth  Street  two  lodgers,  a  son-in-law  and  a  nephew, 
occupied  two  of  the  six  rooms,  while  the  husband  and  wife,  a  son  of  twenty- 
three  years,  and  a  daughter  of  twenty-one  years  lived  in  the  other  four  rooms, 
which  included  the  kitchen  and  dining-room.  A  similar  instance  was  found, 
on  Indiana  Avenue  near  Thirtieth  Street,  where  two  male  lodgers  lived  with 
a  family  consisting  of  the  parents,  a  son  of  twenty,  and  a  daughter  of  eighteen, 
all  in  six  rooms,  two  of  which  were  not  sleeping-rooms.  On  Lake  Park  Avenue 
near  Fifty-sixth  Street  a  famUy,  iacluding  father,  mother,  and  daughter  of 
twenty,  slept  in  the  kitchen  in  order  that  three  lodgers,  one  male  and  two  female, 
might  be  accommodated  in  the  five-room  flat.  In  a  five-room  flat  on  Kenwood 
Avenue  near  Fifty-third  Street  the  two  male  lodgers  occupied  both  bedrooms, 
while  the  mother  and  her  boy  of  nine  and  girl  of  seven  years  lived  in  the  kitchen 
and  dining-room.  Seven  persons  were  found  living  in  a  six-room  house  on 
East  Fortieth  Street;  they  were  father,  mother,  a  son  of  five  years,  a  daughter 
of  seven  years,  and  an  infant,  with  a  male  and  a  female  lodger,  friends  of  the 
parents.    Virtually  the  whole  house  was  used  for  sleeping  purposes. 

These  are  examples  of  the  arrangements  that  sometimes  occur  when 
chfldren  and  lodgers  are  found  in  the  same  dwelling.  The  fact  that  in  the 
main  Chicago  Negroes  live  in  more  rooms  per  dwelling  than  immigrants, 
whose  standard  of  living  has  not  yet  risen,  does  not  necessarily  mean  that  the 
Negroes  have  a  greater  appreciation  of  a  house  with  more  rooms.  The  explana- 
tion in  many  cases  is  that  the  Negroes  take  whatever  living  quarters  happen 
to  be  available,  which  often  are  large  residences  abandoned  by  well-to-do 
whites,  and  then  adapt  their  mode  of  living  to  the  circumstances.  Lodgers 
are  one  of  the  sources  of  revenue  that  aid  in  paying  the  rent.  Negro  families 
often  expressed  a  desire  to  live  by  themselves  if  they  could  find  a  dwelling  of 
suitable  size  for  reasonable  rent.  They  sometimes  complained  of  lodgers 
and  declared  that  they  would  prefer  not  to  take  them  at  all,  especially  women 
lodgers.  The  objection  to  married  couples  and  unattached  men  was  not  so 

Smaller  houses  thus  would  seem  to  be  a  factor  in  the  solution  of  the  lodger 
problem.  A  Negro  real  estate  dealer  was  asked  if  the  Negro  was  as  contented 
or  as  much  disposed  to  live  in  a  cottage  as  white  people,  or  whether  he  wanted 
to  live  in  spacious  quarters  where  he  could  draw  a  revenue  from  roomers. 
The  reply  was  that  the  Negro  would  rather  live  by  himself.  This  is 
evidenced  by  the  fact  that  many  Negroes  would  rather  live  in  an  apartment 
and  rent  two  or  three  rooms  than  take  a  large  house  and  have  it  full  of  roomers. 

Lodgers  are  often  found  in  the  smaller  dwellings  occupied  by  Negroes. 
Rent  is  often  the  determining  factor  in  the  selection  of  the  smaller  dwelling. 
When  it  is  so  high  that  it  forms  too  large  a  proportion  of  income,  economic 
necessity  often  drives  the  Negro  family  to  admit  one  or  more  lodgers  at  the 
expense  of  overcrowding  and  its  attendant  harmfulness.  This  was  noted  in 
certain  districts  where  the  dwellings  as  a  rule  were  small. 


Rents  and  lodgers. — ^An  effort  was  made  to  determine  tlie  economic  necessity 
for  lodgers  as  expressed  by  the  relation  of  the  wages  of  heads  of  families  to 
the  amounts  of  rent  paid.  It  is  assmned  that  in  a  normal  family  budget 
rent  should  not  exceed  one-fifth  of  the  income  of  the  head  of  the  family.  Wide 
variations  from  that  proportion  w;ere  revealed. 

Facts  as  to  both  rent  and  wages  were  difficult  to  secure,  owing  to  the 
variable  earnings  of  various  members  of  the  family,  variable  sums  received 
from  lodgers,  and  other  factors.  For  example,  seventeen  occupants  owned 
their  houses.  In  seventy-eight  other  cases  information  obtained  by  the 
investigators  was  not  adequate  or  could  not,  for  various  reasons,  be  used  in 

The  remaining  179  cases  out  of  the  274  provided  data  from  which  the 
following  facts  are  presented:  In  three  instances  the  rent  exceeded  the  income 
of  the  head  of  the  family;  in  thirty-one  instances  the  rent  equaled  one-half 
the  income  of  the  head  of  the  family,  and  in  an  equal  number  it  amounted 
to  one-third.  In  one  case  the  rent  was  equal  to  three-fourths  of  the  income, 
and  in  twenty-three  cases  the  rent  equaled  one-fourth.  Thus  eighty-nine 
instances  were  disclosed  in  which  the  rent  was  in  excess  of  one-fifth  of  the 
income  of  the  head  of  the  family.  In  most  of  these  cases,  particularly  the 
extreme  ones,  the  income  of  the  head  of  the  family  was  greatly  supplemented 
by  money  received  from  lodgers  or  from  earnings  of  other  members  of  the 

The  remaining  ninety  families  in  which  the  rent  amounted  to  one-fiifth 
or  less  of  the  income  of  the  head  of  the  family  were  divided  as  follows:  Twenty- 
four  fell  in  the  one-fifth  column,  twenty-seven  in  the  one-sixth  column,  fourteen 
in  the  one-seventh  colimm,  eleven  in  the  one-eighth  column,  while  fourteen 
were  in  the  "low"  column.  The  last  named  included  those  ranging  from 
one-ninth  to  one-twenty-third. 

On  the  South  Side,  in  the  district  from  Thirty-first  to  Thirty-ninth  Street, 
rents  exceeded  the  one-fifth  proportion  in  one-half  of  the  sixty-two  famihes 
studied,  two  of  them  paying  rent  in  excess  of  income,  eight  paying  one-half  of 
income  for  rent,  fourteen  paying  one-third,  and  seven  paying  one-fourth. 
Of  the  remaining  thirty-one  families  in  that  district,  seven  fell  in  the  one-fifth 
column,  twelve  in  the  one-sixth  column,  six  in  the  one-seventh  column,  four 
in  the  one-eighth  colunrn  and  two  in  the  "low,"  being  one-ninth  and  one- 

Rents  were  high  also  in  the  Lake  Park  district,  where  twenty-five  families 
of  a  total  of  thirty-six  were  paying  in  excess  of  the  one-fifth  proportion.  Four- 
teen of  these  paid  one-half  of  the  income  for  rent,  five  paid  one-fourth,  four 
paid  one-third,  one  paid  three-quarters,  and  in  one  instance  rent  exceeded 
income.  In  only  five  instances  was  the  normal  one-fifth  paid,  two  paid  one- 
sixth,  two  paid  one-seventh,  while  two  paid  one-ninth  and  one-eleventh 


In  the  district  north  of  Thirty-first  Street,  eighteen  out  of  a  total  of  thirty- 
eight  families  paid  in  excess  of  the  one-fifth  proportion,  four  paid  one-half, 
nine  paid  one-third,  and  five  paid  one-fourth.  Six  families  paid  the  normal 
one-fifth,  five  paid  one-sixth,  two  paid  one-seventh,  one  one-eighth,  and  six  less 
than  that,  running  as  low  as  one-twenty-third. 

The  Ogden  Park  area  was  found  to  be  a  district  of  low  rents.  None  of 
the  eight  families  studied  paid  as  much  as  the  normal  one-fifth.  Two  paid 
one-sixth,  one  paid  one-seventh,  three  one-eighth,  one  one-ninth,  and  one 

The  other  districts  did  not  show  much  variation  from  the  normal  propor- 

Examination  was  made  of  all  the  factors  in  instances  where  the  rent  equaled 
one-half  or  more  of  the  income  of  the  head  of  the  family  or  amounted  to 
one-third.  With  regard  to  the  former  it  was  assumed,  for  the  purpose  of  the 
study,  that  it  compelled  renting  rooms  to  lodgers.  With  regard  to  the  one- 
third  column,  lodgers  were  assumed  to  be  an  economic  necessity  when  they 
offered  the  only  source  of  income  in  addition  to  that  of  the  head  of  the  family. 
On  these  bases  it  was  found  that  in  forty-six  famiUes  supplementary  income 
afforded  by  lodgers  was  necessary,  that  in  three  instances  they  were  the  sole 
source  of  the  income,  while  one  instance  was  presented  of  a  widow  whose 
children  partly  supported  her,  but  insufficiently  for  their  common  needs. 

While  in  most  instances  of  high  rents  and  low  income  on  the  part  of  the 
head  of  the  family  good  reason  appeared  for  taking  lodgers,  in  not  a  few 
instances  further  analysis  revealed  other  sources  of  income  which  might 
indicate  that  there  was  no  economic  necessity  for  lodgers.  There  was  one 
instance  on  Forest  Avenue,  for  example,  where  the  relation  of  the  rent  to  the 
father's  income  was  one-third,  but  where  his  sons  earned  more  than  double 
his  income.  In  another  family  on  South  State  Street  near  Thirtieth  Street, 
the  father  earned  $125  a  month  and  paid  $50  a  month  rent,  but  additional 
income  was  derived  from  the  wife,  son,  and  daughter,  in  addition  to  that 
obtained  from  lodgers.  There  was  likewise  the  case  of  a  waiter  Uving  on 
Lake  Park  Avenue  whose  rent  was  $30  a  month  as  against  wages  of  $10  a 
week.  In  addition  to  the  tips  he  doubtless  received  in  his  work,  his  wife 
earned  $18  a  week,  and  $6  a  week  was  derived  from  lodgers.  In  one  instance 
a  man  living  near  Fifty-sixth  Street  and  Wabash  Avenue  paid  rent  equal  to 
one-third  of  his  wages,  but  had  considerable  income  from  investments. 

Such  instances  tend  to  explain  why  only  forty-eight  families  were  found 
in  which  lodgers  seemed  to  be  an  economic  necessity  in  aiding  to  pay  rents, 
when  eighty-nine  cases  were  revealed  in  which  the  rent  was  in  excess  of  one- 
fifth  of  the  wages  of  the  head  of  the  family.  The  family  histories  also  showed 
that  various  means  besides  lodgers  supplemented  the  insufficient  income  of  a 
family  head.  In  some  cases  the  wife  or  children  worked,  and  not  infrequently 
their  incomes  exceeded  those  of  the  father. 


Lodgers  were  often  found  in  families  where  the  income  from  that  source 
did  not  appear  to  be  needed.  This  was  the  case  in  a  number  of  families  with 
unusually  high  wages  and  abnormally  low  rents.  High  wages  and  low  rents 
explain  most  of  the  cases  shown  where  the  rent  ranges  from  one-ninth  to 
one-twenty-third  of  the  income  of  the  head  of  the  family.  In  the  one-twenty- 
third  case  the  couple  lived  in  two  rooms  on  South  State  Street  for  which  they 
paid  $6  a  month.  The  man  earned  $35  a  week  in  an  iron  foundry,  while  the 
wife  added  $18  a  week  to  the  common  fund.  Another  instance  was  that  of 
a  man  who  paid  $16  a  month  rent  and  earned  $48  weekly  at  the  Stock  Yards. 
His  wife  and  a  relative  added  $23.60  a  week  to  the  family  income.  A  man  in 
Ogden  Park  whose  income  as  a  contractor  was  $48  a  week  paid  $16  a  month 
rent.  A  man  living  on  the  West  Side  earned  $48  a  week  and  paid  $15  a  month 
rent.    His  children  added  $43.50  a  week  to  the  family  income. 

Even  in  circumstances  such  as  these,  lodgers  were  sometimes  taken. 
In  one  case  where  the  rent  was  one-tenth  of  the  wages  of  the  head  of  the  family 
the  man  paid  $15  a  month  rent  for  a  five-room  dwelling  out  of  his  $36  weekly 
wages  earned  in  a  coke  plant  at  Gary.  His  son  and  lodgers  increased  the 
monthly  income  by  $28.  There  was  a  teamster  earning  $30  a  week  who 
paid  $15  a  month  rent  for  a  six-room  dwelling  in  which  nine  persons  lived. 
The  proportion  of  rent  to  his  wages  was  as  one  to  eight.  His  wife,  one  of  his 
children,  and  lodgers  added  to  the  income.  As  in  numerous  instances  where 
the  income  was  high,  a  large  amount  was  spent  for  food  in  this  family. 

An  instance  was  found  of  a  man  earning  $9.50  to  $10.50  a  day.  His  wife 
was  a  caterer.  There  was  a  daughter  of  fifteen  years.  They  took  three 
roomers.  There  was  no  need  for  the  woman  to  work,  but  she  said  she  wanted 
the  money.  She  was  a  good  cook,  having  served  in  that  capacity  in  the  South, 
and  she  said  she  earned  $15  when  she  went  out  for  a  week-end  of  catering. 
In  this  instance  there  seemed  to  be  httle  need  for  lodgers. 

Another  case  was  that  of  a  man  and  his  wife  and  two  grown  children 
living  in  a  nine-room  dwelling  on  Calumet  Avenue  and  having  nine  lodgers. 
The  man  was  earning  $40  a  week,  and  the  lodgers  paid  $33.50  a  week.  The 
wife  occasionally  did  day  work,  earning  $3 .65  a  day.  The  monthly  expenditure 
for  food  was  $100,  clothing  $33,  and  rent  $60. 

Another  instance  was  that  of  a  widow  with  three  children  who  lived  on 
State  Street  near  Thirty-seventh  Street,  in  a  three-room  flat.  Though  the 
chDdren's  earnings  amounted  to  $78  a  week,  the  inevitable  lodger  was  present, 
contributing  $4  a  week  to  the  common  fund.  This  little  family  spent  $120 
a  month  for  food. 

Large  amounts  spent  for  food  were  not  uncommon  in  some  families  that 
took  lodgers.  A  typical  instance  was  that  of  the  man  and  wife  with  three 
children  and  two  lodgers  who  lived  on  Prairie  Avenue.  The  man  earned 
$25  a  week,  while  $82  a  month  was  derived  from  the  lodgers.  Food  for  the 
family  alone  cost  $100  a  month. 


A  man  on  North  Wells  Street  earned  $57  a  week  for  the  support  of  his 
wife  and  three  adopted  children.  They  lived  in  an  eleven-room  house  which 
also  accommodated  the  man's  sister  and  brother.  One  of  the  sons  earned 
I75  a  week,  and  the  lodgers  paid  $45  a  month.  This  family  spent  $180  a 
month  for  food.  Another  earned  $22  a  week  in  the  Stock  Yards.  Besides 
his  wife  and  child  they  had  in  their  nine-room  house  on  East  Thirtieth 
Street  six  lodgers  paying  $20  a  week.  This  family  spent  $100  a  month  for 
food  and  $34  for  clothing.  Another  man  and  wife  on  Forest  Avenue  paid 
$25  a  month  rent  and  spent  $88  a  month  for  food  and  $43  for  clothiug.  They 
derived  $3.75  a  week  from  their  two  lodgers.  A  similar  case  was  that  of  a  family 
which  lived  on  East  Thirty-second  Street.  The  man  earned  $30  a  week  in 
a  foundry.  He  and  his  wife  have  one  child,  and  they  had  ten  lodgers,  who 
paid  $72  a  week.  In  this  family  $80  was  spent  for  food  each  month  and  $50 
for  clothing. 

The  heaviest  expenditure  for  food  in  any  one  family  was  $330  a  month. 
This  was  explained  by  the  fact  that  there  were  twenty  table  boarders.  The 
husband  earned  $22.50  a  week,  and  there  were  three  lodgers  who  paid  $13  a 
week.  The  boarders  collectively  paid  $13  a  day.  Rent  was  $55  a  month, 
and  $25  a  month  was  spent  for  clothing. 

Other  reasons  for  the  ready  acceptance  of  lodgers  in  Negro  dwelliugs 
were  apparent,  among  them  friendship  and  the  desire  to  be  obliging  and  to 
assist  others  in  a  new  environment.  Most  Negroes  would  regard  it  as  a  breach  • 
of  good  faith  to  encourage  friends  and  relatives  to  come  to  Chicago  from  the 
South  and  then  fail  to  help  them  after  their  arrival.  This  accounts  for  the 
frequent  designation  of  "relatives"  and  "friends"  among  the  lodgers.  Some- 
times these  lodgers  seemed  to  be  permanent,  but  often  they  were  taken  only 
until  they  could  adjust  themselves. 

During  the  period  of  greatest  migration,  1915-20,  hundreds  of  imattached 
men  and  women  could  be  seen  on  the  streets  as  late  as  one  or  two  o'clock  in 
the  morning,  seeking  rooms  shortly  after  their  arrival  in  Chicago.  One 
instance  was  reported  of  a  family  to  whose  house  four  men  came  at  midnight 
looking  for  rooms.  Lack  of  lodging-houses  or  of  hotels  where  accommodations 
could  be  had  at  reasonable  prices  was  partly  responsible  for  this  swarm  of 
migrants  seeking  shelter  in  private  homes.  The  meager  provision  of  such 
places  for  the  accommodation  of  unattached  Negroes  has  been  a  factor  in  the 
lodger  problem. 


How  Negroes  earn  their  living  in  Chicago,  what  occupational  changes 
those  from  the  South  have  imdergone  since  arrival,  how  their  present  occupa- 
tions differ  from  those  in  their  former  homes — information  on  all  these  poiats 
was  gained  from  the  family  histories.  Almost  without  exception,  the  Negroes 
interviewed  declared  that  their  economic  situation  had  improved  in  Chicago. 


In  most  instances  they  were  able  to  earn  more;  some  said  they  were  obliged 
to  work  harder  but  felt  well  recompensed  because  of  their  improved  economic 

From  the  occupations  of  persons  included  in  the  study  it  appears  that 
there  is  a  distinct  departure  from  the  domestic  and  personal  service  in  which 
Negroes  were  commonly  found  a  few  years  ago.  Among  the  274  famiUes 
visited,  the  heads  of  225  families  were  men.  Of  this  number  eighteen  were 
idle  at  the  time  of  the  investigation,  in  the  summer  of  1920,  nine  were  profes- 
sional men,  nineteen  were  in  business,  twenty-two  were  in  some  skilled  trade 
or  work,  no  were  doing  unskilled  work,  and  only  forty-seven  were  engaged 
in  personal  service.  The  latter  term  includes  such  occupations  as  doorman 
in  a  hotel  or  club,  bellboy,  bootblack,  cook,  waiter,  porter,  elevator  operator, 
and  chauffeurs  who  lack  training  as  mechanics.  These  are  chiefly  functions 
which  bring  employees  in  contact  with  the  pubUc  or  with  white  employers 
in  a  more  or  less  personal  capacity. 

Before  coming  to  Chicago,  forty-five  of  the  225  were  farmers.  Practically 
all  of  these  entered  the  field  of  unskilled  occupations  here.  Only  sixty-four 
of  the  225  had  been  doing  unskilled  work  in  their  former  home.  Six  more  did 
skilled  work  in  their  former  homes  than  were  doing  such  work  in  Chicago; 
two  more  were  in  personal  service;  two  less  were  in  business;  and  one  more  was 
in  a  profession. 

Of  these  225  family  heads,  122  migrated  to  Chicago,  chiefly  from  the  South, 
during  the  period  from  1916  to  1920  inclusive.  Three  periods  in  the  industrial 
history  of  the  family  head  were  taken:  (i)  occupation  in  the  former  home; 
(2)  occupation  on  first  arrival  in  Chicago;  and  (3)  adjustment  to  new  conditions 
in  Chicago  and  occupation  at  the  time  of  investigation,  during  the  spring  and 
early  summer  of  1920. 

Many  of  these  migrants  had  not  yet  made  their  adjustment  to  the  new 
occupations  at  that  time.  However,  certain  tendencies  were  manifest.  For 
example,  in  the  former  home  thirty-one  were  farmers  and  fprty-five  were 
unskilled  workers.  In  the  period  of  adjustment  seventy-seven  were  doing 
unskilled  work.  The  unskilled  occupations  had  apparently,  in  the  shifting 
about,  absorbed  the  farmers.  The  difficulty  of  continuing  in  skilled  occupa- 
tions in  the  North  was  evidenced.  In  the  South  fourteen  of  the  122  men 
were  engaged  in  skilled  occupations  of  some  sort;  in  the  period  of  adjustment 
there  were  fifteen;  but  at  the  time  of  the  investigation  there  were  but  twelve. 

In  the  South  nineteen  of  the  122  were  in  personal-service  occupations; 
during  the  transition  period,  eighteen;  and  at  the  time  of  the  investigation, 
sixteen.  In  the  South  seven  were  in  business;  during  the  period  of  transition, 
three;  and  at  the  time  of  the  investigation,  five.  In  the  South  four  were  in 
practice  as  professional  men;  during  the  period  of  transition  only  three; 
while  at  the  time  of  the  investigation  there  were  five,  one  just  beginning  to 


As  to  whether  any  previous  occupational  training  was  used  or  abandoned 
after  coming  to  the  North,  it  appeared  that  of  the  225  only  91  utilized  such 
training.  In  134  cases  previous  training  was  not  used,  but  these  included 
many  who  were  farmers  in  the  South. 

Of  forty-nine  who  had  been  engaged  in  personal-service  occupations  before 
coming  to  Chicago,  only  twenty  stUl  continued  in  such  work.  Six  were  unem- 
ployed at  the  time  of  the  investigation,  nineteen  were  in  unskilled  work,  one 
was  doing  skilled  work,  and  three  were  in  business. 

Forty-nine  women  were  heads  of  famihes  as  revealed  by  the  274  family 
histories.  This  does  not  include  all  the  Negro  women  shown  by  the  histories 
to  be  engaged  in  gainful  occupations  in  Chicago.  Often  daughters  were 
working.  There  were  thirty  instances  in  which  man  and  wife  both  worked 
outside  of  the  home.  Before  coming  to  Chicago  129  wives  were  employed, 
while  in  Chicago  sixty-seven  wives  were  gainfully  employed,  including  the 
thirty  who  were  working  in  addition  to  their  husbands.  During  the  period 
of  transition,  it  appears,  they  helped  out,  since  the  records  show  that  132 
were  then  at  work.  But  the  tendency  plainly  is  to  abandon  the  practice  as 
soon  as  the  family  becomes  settled  in  the  new  environment. 

Of  seventeen  women  who  had  worked  as  house  servants  in  their  former 
homes,  seven  were  found  in  factories,  three  in  offices,  two  in  stores,  and  five 
in  unskilled  manual  labor. 

Some  of  the  transitions  in  occupation  are  especially  interesting.  One 
oil-field  worker  in  the  South  had  become  a  shoemaker.  A  farmer  had  become 
a  postal  clerk.  A  former  superintendent  of  a  label  factory  attended  high  school 
during  the  adjustment  period  and  became  an  undertaker.  One  who  was  a 
schoolboy  in  the  South  worked  in  a  hotel  on  coming  to  Chicago  but  became  a 
grocer.  A  barber  in  Kansas  City  became  first  a  painter  in  Chicago,  then  a 
janitor.  A  bottler  from  Memphis,  Tennessee,  went  to  work  in  the  Stock 
Yards  but  became  a  canvasser.  A  farmer  from  Alabama  worked  first  in  the 
Yards  and  later  in  woolen  mills. 

One  man  was  a  porter  in  a  store  in  Mississippi.  In  Chicago  he  became  a 
chauffeur.  A  fanner  from  Louisiana  on  arriving  worked  as  a  butcher  and  then 
secured  emplojonent  in  a  tannery.  A  porter  in  a  wholesale  grocery  in  Memphis, 
Tennessee,  who  worked  first  in  Chicago  as  a  lard  maker  in  a  packing-house, 
later  became  a  building  laborer.  A  preacher  from  Tennessee  worked  at 
Swift's  packing-house  until  he  could  become  estabhshed  in  a  church. 

A  Mississippi  plumber  who  served  as  a  butter  maker  for  a  time  after 
reaching  Chicago  became  a  contractor  within  three  years.  A  hotel  porter 
from  Alabama  came  to  Chicago  in  1918  and  went  to  work  in  a  steel  foundry 
and  later  in  a  soap  factory.  A  farmer  who  worked  on  shares  in  Georgia  tried 
work  in  the  Stock  Yards  in  Chicago,  but  changed  to  a  paint  shop.  An  Alabama 
man  who  worked  in  a  sawmill  there  found  a  job  in  a  steel  foundry  in  Chicago, 
and  later  went  to  the  Stock  Yards.    A  man  who  worked  in  an  ice  plant 


in  Texas  became  a  railroad  porter  after  coming  to  Chicago  and  then  found  a 
job  as  a  butcher  at  the  Stock  Yards. 

A  man  who  began  life  as  a  bootblack  in  Atlanta  came  to  Chicago  in  1893 
and  sold  newspapers  until  he  could  enter  business  for  himself.  For  many  years 
he  has  been  a  jeweler.  In  the  South  his  wife  was  a  musician  by  profession. 
To  aid  her  husband  in  his  struggle  she  worked  in  a  box  factory  for  a  time  after 
arriving  in  Chicago. 

Clerg3Tnen  sometimes  abandon  their  profession  for  more  remimerative 
employment.  One  of  these  came  to  Chicago  from  Boston  in  1904.  For  a  time 
he  worked  as  a  fireman  and  later  in  a  packing-house.  One  who  served  as  a 
waiter  on  first  coming  to  Chicago  became  an  insurance  agent,  and  another, 
who  was  a  reporter  on  a  Negro  newspaper  on  arrival  in  Chicago,  became  the 
manager  of  a  manufacturiag  company. 

Few  migrants  continued  in  Chicago  the  employment  in  which  they  worked 
in  the  South. 

The  family  histories  show  that  the  Stock  Yards  industry  absorbed  many 
of  the  migrants,  and  a  large  number  went  to  work  in  the  steel  rmUs  and  iron 
foundries,  as  well  as  in  lighter  manufactures. 

Many  Negro  women  have  become  hairdressers  and  manicurists  after  a 
course  in  a  school  of  "beauty  culture"  which  also  teaches  the  use  of  cosmetics. 
Considerable  skill  is  often  required  in  this  work,  and  the  eamiags  often  supple- 
ment very  substantially  the  husband's  income  and  may  be  sufficient  to  make 
an  individual  self-sustaining  in  case  of  need.  Hairdressing  is  most  frequently 
done  in  the  homes. 

An  occasional  teacher,  cateress,  or  seamstress  was  found  among  the  Negro 
women.  Some  of  them  remaiued  in  personal-service  occupations,  but  a  decided 
tendency  was  noticeable  toward  office  and  factory  employment. 

In  summary  it  is  scarcely  necessary  to  remark  that  wages  in  the  North 
far  exceed  those"  in  the  South.  The  difference  in  some  instances  is  so  great 
that  many  foolish  expenditures  are  indulged  in  before  the  relatively  higher 
cost  of  living  is  appreciated,  or  other  conditions  are  properly  understood. 
High  wages,  supplemented  by  income  from  other  sources,  often  proved  a 
temptation  to  lumecessarily  heavy  expenditures  for  material  comforts,  such 
as  food  and  clothing.  With  relation  to  food  it  did  not  appear  that  Negroes 
were  deliberately  taken  advantage  of  in  their  buying,  but  that  they  frequently 
bought  articles  without  consideriug  prices  that  had  been  refused  by  others 
because  they  were  deemed  excessive. 

Insurance  of  one  kind  or  another  was  often  carried  in  the  families  studied. 
In  spite  of  high  livmg  costs,  a  considerable  number  of  families  were  found  to 
have  bank  accounts,  Liberty  bonds.  War  Savings  stamps,  and  good  interest- 
paying  investments. 

The  testimony  of  Negroes  who  at  some  time  had  lived  in  the  South  was 
mamly  that  they  were  obliged  to  work  harder  for  what  they  got  North.    They 


also  declared  that  they  were  unable  to  save  as  much  as  they  hoped  or  expected, 
because  of  high  prices.  But  in  the  great  majority  of  cases  satisfaction  was 
expressed  over  the  improvement  in  their  economic  situation.  While  their 
movements  in  search  of  better  housing  in  Chicago  were  extremely  frequent, 
they  still  felt  that  they  were  better  housed  than  in  their  former  homes,  where 
bathtubs,  steam  heat,  and  electric  Ughting  were  almost  unknown.  Being 
accustomed  to  a  certain  measure  of  dilapidation  in  their  home  surroundings 
in  the  South,  the  Negro  is  not  necessarily  dismayed  by  the  extent  of  dilapidation  in 
Chicago's  Negro  housing,  though  usually  it  is  not  long  before  he  begins  to  think 
of  more  substantial  dwellings  in  better  surroundings  than  those  he  first  obtains. 
Also  in  Chicago  he  finds  available  and  accessible  to  his  home  many  churches, 
some  with  large  memberships  and  adequately  housed;  the  best  schools  he 
has  ever  known;  fine  hospitals  and  dispensaries  at  his  command;  some  play- 
grounds, bathing-beaches,  parks,  and  similar  faciHties  for  his  recreation  and 
that  of  his  children;  settlement  houses;  Hbraries;  and  many  other  civic  and 
recreational  societies  that  make  a  strong  appeal  to  his  interest  and  promote 
his  ambition  for  physical  and  mental  development.  He  finds  many  motion- 
picture  theaters  and  other  amusements  for  his  leisure  hours. 

Where  the  habit  has  not  already  been  estabUshed,  he  is  learning  to  make 
hberal  use  of  all  these  faciHties  through  the  guidance  and  direction  of  Negro 
newspapers  and  organizations  working  especially  for  the  improvement  of  the 
Negro  group.  There  are  indications  of  improvement  in  moral  standards, 
health,  and  civic  consciousness  through  these  contacts  and  the  use  of  these 
up-buUding  social  agencies. 

The  opinions  of  migrants  and  their  feeling  toward  the  commimity  were 
soUcited.  It  appeared  that  above  all  they  prized  the  social  and  poHtical 
freedom  of  the  North.  Satisfaction  was  expressed  over  the  escape  from 
"Jim  Crow"  treatment  in  the  South.  They  valued  the  independence  possible 
in  the  North,  and  sometimes  spoke  of  haviag  come  North  "out  of  bondage." 
They  recalled  frequently  the  "shameful  treatment  received  by  the  Negroes 
from  the  white  people  in  the  South,"  the  "intimidation  and  discrimination," 
and  they  were  surprised  and  sometimes  amazed  at  the  fact  that  they  could  go 
and  come  at  wiU  in  Chicago,  that  they  could  ride  in  the  front  of  a  street  car 
and  sit  in  any  seat.  Satisfaction  was  also  expressed  over  the  fact  that  they 
could  get  a  job  at  good  wages  and  did  not  have  to  buy  groceries  at  plantation 
stores  where  they  felt  they  had  been  exploited. 

Thus,  while  they  may  have  to  work  harder  and  may  find  it  difficult  for  a 
long  time  to  adjust  themselves  to  the  environment,  few  indicated  any  intention 
of  returning  to  the  South.  In  some  instances,  where  adjustments  have  not 
been  made,  some  discouragement  was  evidenced,  and  they  sometimes  expressed 
the  feeling  that  they  were  no  better  off  in  Chicago  than  in  their  former  homes. 
The  prevailing  sentiment,  however,  was  in  favor  of  remaining  in  spite  of  some 
greater  difficulties. 


Often  Negroes  from  the  South  said  they  missed  the  care-free  social  greetings 
and  relationships  that  prevail  ia  the  rural  South.  They  thought  that  people 
in  the  North  were  "colder,"  that  they  did  not  show  sufficient  hospitahty. 

Asked  what  conditions  they  would  change  if  they  could  have  their  way, 
the  most  frequently  expressed  desire  was  for  more  and  better  housing. 
Improvement  of  social,  moral,  or  political  conditions  followed.  Some  empha- 
sized the  necessity  of  improving  the  management  of  the  migrants  from  the 
South,  whose  new-found  freedom  had  led  them  to  become  offensive  in  their 
conduct.  Interviews  with  migrants,  however,  indicated  that  instruction  was 
being  received  without  offense  from  many  social  agencies  on  how  to  act, 
dress,  and  speak  in  such  a  manner  as  not  to  create  unfavorable  impressions. 

There  were  some  complaints  of  political  exploitation  and  of  being  obliged 
to  live  in  proximity  to  gambling  and  vice  that  were  encouraged  by  poUtical 
bosses  in  their  neighborhoods. 

The  inquiry  showed  that  membership  in  clubs,  lodges,  and  kindred  organiza- 
tions was  almost  as  universal  as  church  affiliation.  There  were  only  a  few 
families  in  which  no  member  had  any  association  with  a  fraternity  or  club. 


The  general  statistical  treatment  of  these  274  Negro  families  takes  away 
many  of  their  hmnan  qualities.  For  this  reason  a  selection  has  been  made  of 
various  types  of  Negro  famiUes  in  order  that  a  rounded  picture  of  the  whole 
unit  may  be  given.  The  family  stories  that  foUow  include  t3?pical  migrant 
Negroes  from  the  South — common  laborers,  skilled  laborers,  salaried,  business, 
and  professional  men.  They  illustrate  the  commonplace  experiences  of 
Negroes  in  adjusting  themselves  to  the  requirements  of  life  in  Chicago. 


Mr.  J — ,  forty-nine  years  old,  his  wife,  thirty-eight  years,  and  their  daughter 
twenty-one  years,  were  bom  in  Henry  County,  Georgia.  The  husband  never  went 
to  school,  but  reads  a  httle.  The  wife  finished  the  seventh  grade  and  the  daughter 
the  fifth  grade  in  the  rural  school  near  their  home. 

They  worked  on  a  farm  for  shares,  the  man  earning  one  doUar  and  the  women 
from  fifty  to  seventy-five  cents  a  day  for  ten  hours'  work.  Their  home  was  a  four- 
room  cottage  with  a  garden,  and  rented  for  five  dollars  a  month.  They  owned  pigs, 
poultry,  and  a  cow,  which  with  their  household  furniture,  were  worth  about  $800. 
The  food  that  they  did  not  raise  and  their  clothing  had  to  be  bought  from  the  com- 
missary at  any  price  the  owner  cared  to  charge. 

They  were  members  of  the  Missionary  Baptist  Church  and  the  wife  belonged  to 
the  missionary  society  of  the  church  and  the  Household  of  Ruth,  a  secret  order.  Their 
sole  recreation  was  attending  church,  except  for  the  occasional  huntmg  expeditions 
made  by  the  husband. 

Motives  for  coming  to  Chicago. — ^Reading  in  the  Atlanta  Journal,  a  Negro  news- 
paper, of  the  wonderful  industrial  opportunities  offered  Negroes,  the  husband  came 
to  Chicago  in  February,  1917.    Finding  conditions  satisfactory,  he  had  his  wife  sell 


the  stock  and  household  goods  and  join  him  here  in  April  of  the  same  year.  He 
secured  work  at  the  Stock  Yards,  working  eight  hours  at  $3  a  day.  Later,  he  was 
employed  by  a  casting  company,  working  ten  hours  a  day  and  earning  $30  a  week. 
This  is  his  present  employment  and  is  about  forty  minutes'  ride  from  his  home. 
Both  jobs  were  secured  by  his  own  efforts. 

The  family  stayed  in  a  rooming-house  on  East  Thirtieth  Street.  This  place 
catered  to  such  an  undesirable  element  that  the  wife  remained  in  her  room  with  their 
daughter  all  day.  She  thought  the  city  too  was  cold,  dirty,  and  noisy  to  live  in. 
Having  nothing  to  do  and  not  knowing  anyone,  she  was  so  lonely  that  she  cried  daily 
and  begged  her  husband  to  put  her  in  three  rooms  of  their  own  or  go  back  home. 
Because  of  the  high  cost  of  living,  they  were  compelled  to  wait  some  time  before  they 
had  saved  enough  to  begin  housekeeping. 

Housing  experience. — ^Their  first  home  was  on  South  Park  Avenue.  They  bought 
about  $500  worth  of  furniture,  on  which  they  are  stiU  paying.  The  wife  then  worked 
for  a  time  at  the  PuUman  Yards,  cleaning  cars  at  $1.50  a  day  for  ten  hours'  work. 
Their  house  leaked  and  was  damp  and  cold,  so  the  family  moved  to  another  house  on 
South  Park  Avenue,  where  they  now  live.  The  house  is  an  old,  three-story  brick, 
containing  three  flats.  This  family  occupies  the  first  flat,  which  has  six  rooms  and 
bath.  Stoves  are  used  for  heating,  and  gas  for  light  and  cooking.  The  house  is 
warm,  but  dark  and  poorly  ventilated.  Lights  are  used  in  two  of  the  rooms  during 
the  day.  The  rooms  open  one  into  the  other,  and  the  interior,  as  well  as  the  exterior, 
needs  cleaning.  There  are  a  living-room,  dining-room,  and  three  bedrooms.  The 
living-room  is  neatly  and  plainly  furnished. 

The  daughter  has  married  a  man  twenty-three  years  old,  who  migrated  first  to 
Pittsburgh,  Pennsylvania,  then  to  Chicago.  He  works  at  the  Stock  Yards.  They 
occupy  a  room  and  use  the  other  part  of  the  house,  paying  half  the  rent  and  boarding 
themselves.  A  nephew,  who  was  a  glazier  in  Georgia,  but  who  has  been  unable  to 
secure  work  here,  also  boards  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  J — ,  paying  $8  a  week.  He  is  now 
unemployed,  but  has  been  doing  foundry  work.  Mrs.  J —  occasionally  does  laimdry 
work  at  $4  a  day. 

How  they  live. — ^The  cost  of  living  includes  rent  $25;  gas  $5.40  a  month;  coal 
$18  a  year;  insurance  $9.60  a  month;  clothing  $500  a  year;  transportation  $3.12  a 
month;  church  and  club  dues  $3  a  month;  hairdresser  $1.50  a  month.  Little  is  spent 
for  recreation  and  the  care  of  the  health.  The  family  carries  insurance  to  the  amount 
of  $1,700,  of  which  |i,2oo  is  on  the  husband. 

The  meals  are  prepared  by  the  wife,  who  also  does  the  cleaning.  Greens,  potatoes, 
and  cabbage  are  the  chief  articles  of  diet.  Milk,  eggs,  cereals,  and  meat  are  also 
used.  Meat  is  eaten  about  four  tunes  a  week.  Hot  bread  is  made  daily,  and  the 
dinners  are  usually  boUed. 

Relation  to  the  comnmnUy. — ^The  whole  family  belongs  to  the  Salem  Baptist  Church 
and  attends  twice  a  week.  The  wife  is  a  member  of  the  Pastor's  Aid  and  the  WiUing 
Workers  Club,  also  the  Elk's  Lodge.  The  husband  is  a  member  of  the  Knights  of 
Pythias.  He  goes  to  the  parks,  bathing-beaches,  and  baseball  games  for  amusement. 
The  family  spends  much  of  its  time  in  church  and  helped  to  establish  the  "  Come  and 
See"  Baptist  Mission  at  East  Thirty-first  Street  and  Cottage  Grove  Avenue.  They 
have  gone  to  a  show  only  once  or  twice  since  they  came  to  the  city.  During  the 
summer  they  spend  Sunday  afternoons  at  the  East  Twenty-ninth  Street  Beach. 


Heavier  clothes  were  necessary  because  of  the  change  of  climate,  and  more  fresh 
meat  is  used  because  of  the  lack  of  garden  space  and  the  high  cost  of  green  vegetables. 

The  wife  thinks  that  northern  Negroes  have  better  manners,  but  are  not  as  friendly 
as  the  colored  people  in  the  South.  She  says  people  do  not  visit  each  other,  and  one 
is  never  invited  to  dine  at  a  friend's  house.  She  thinks  they  cannot  afiord  it  with 
food  so  high.  She  thinks  people  were  better  in  the  South  than  they  are  here  and 
says  they  had  to  be  good  there  for  they  had  nothing  else  to  do  but  go  to  church. 

She  feels  a  greater  freedom  here  because  of  the  right  to  vote,  the  better  treatment 
accorded  by  white  people,  the  lack  of  "Jim  Crow"  laws.  She  likes  the  North  because 
of  the  protection  afEorded  by  the  law  and  the  better  working  conditions.  "You  don't 
have  an  overseer  always  standing  over  you,"  she  remarked. 

Life  here  is  harder,  however,  because  one  has  to  work  all  the  time.  "  In  the  South 
you  cotdd  rest  occasionally,  but  here,  where  food  is  so  high  and  one  must  pay  cash, 
it  is  hard  to  come  out  even."  The  climate  is  colder,  making  it  necessary  to  buy  more 
clothes  and  coal.  Rent  also  is  very  much  higher  here.  They  had  to  sell  their  two 
$50  Liberty  bonds. 

Economic  sufficiency. — ^With  all  this,  Mrs.  J —  gets  more  pleasure  from  her  income 
because  the  necessities  of  Ufe  here  were  luxuries  in  Georgia,  and  though  such  things 
are  dear  here  there  is  money  to  pay  for  them.  Houses  are  more  modem,  but  not 
good  enough  for  the  rent  paid.  They  had  to  pay  $2  more  than  the  white  family  that 
moved  out  when  they  moved  in. 

Sentiments  on  the  migration. — ^Mrs.  J — •  says  "some  colored  people  have  come  up 
here  and  forgotten  to  stay  close  to  God,"  hence  they  have  "gone  to  destruction."  She 
hopes  that  an  equal  chance  in  industry  will  be  given  to  all;  that  more  houses  will  be 
provided  for  the  people  and  rent  wiU  be  charged  for  the  worth  of  the  house;  and  the 
cost  of  living  generally  wiU  be  reduced.  She  does  not  expect  to  return  to  Georgia 
and  is  advising  friends  to  come  to  Chicago. 


In  his  home  town  in  Kentucky,  Mr.  M —  was  a  preacher  with  a  small  charge. 
Now,  at  the  age  of  forty-nine,  in  Chicago,  he  works  in  a  factory  and  is  paid  $130  a 
month.  He  has  an  adopted  son,  twenty-three  years  of  age,  who  is  an  automobile 
mechanic  in  business  for  himself,  drawing  an  income  of  $300  a  month. 

Mr.  M —  might  still  be  a  preacher  on  smaR  salary  but  for  the  intervention  of  his 
wife.  He  came  to  Chicago  about  1900.  His  wife  came  from  NashviUe,  Tennessee, 
in  1902,  and  they  were  married  in  1904.  Mrs.  M —  felt  that  she  was  too  independent 
to  "live  off  the  people"  and  persuaded  her  husband  to  give  up  the  ministry.  He 
got  a  job  as  foreman  at  a  packing-house,  where  he  earned  $25  a  week  for  a  ten-hour 
day.  Next  he  worked  for  the  Chicago  Telephone  Company,  and  finally  secured  the 
position  with  a  box-manufacturing  company  which  he  now  holds. 

Family  life. — The  M — s  have  adopted  three  children,  having  had  none  of  their 
own — the  adopted  son  already  mentioned,  an  adopted  daughter  now  twenty  years  of 
age,  and  another  foster  son  of  thirteen.  The  latter  is  in  a  North  Side  school.  The 
girl  is  in  a  normal  school  in  Alabama.  Both  Mr.  and  Mrs.  M —  completed  high 
school.    All  speak  good  English. 

Wife  and  husband  have  separate  banking  accounts.  Living  expenses  for  such  a 
large  fanuly  are,  of  course,  heavy.    For  example,  the  biUs  for  food  aggregate  from 


$42  to  $45  a  week,  and  more  than  $200  a  year  is  paid  in  insurance  premiums.  Fre- 
quently a  woman  is  hired  to  come  in  and  help  with  the  housework.  Food  in  good 
variety  is  used.  Illness  prevented  adding  to  the  bank  accounts  during  the  year  of 
1920.  An  operation  performed  on  Mrs.  M —  cost  $650  and  the  iUness  of  Mr.  M — 
and  the  daughter  consumed  between  $900  and  $1,000. 

Housing  experience. — The  M — s'  first  home  in  Chicago  was  a  cottage  in  the 
"Black  Belt.''  They  wanted  a  large  house  and  found  one  on  South  State  Street. 
The  neighborhood,  however,  was  displeasing  to  them,  and  they  moved  to  the  North 
Side  to  be  near  a  brother's  children.  The  house  was  too  small,  and  they  moved  again 
to  another  North  Side  address.  Again  the  neighborhood  proved  distasteful,  so 
they  bought  the  three-story  dwelling  on  the  North  Side  where  they  now  Uve.  It  is 
in  good  sanitary  condition  and  is  supplied  with  gas.  As  lodgers  they  have  the  wife's 
sister  and  brother,  who  are  actually  members  of  the  family. 

Community  participation. — ^They  belong  to  the  Baptist  church.  Affiliations  of  a 
secular  nature  include  the  Masons,  the  Household  of  Ruth,  the  Court  of  Calanthe, 
the  Eastern  Star,  the  Heroines  of  Jericho,  the  North  Side  Men's  Progressive  Club, 
the  Twentieth  Century  and  Golden  Leaf  clubs,  and  the  Young  Matrons  and  Volun- 
teer Workers.  Mrs.  M —  is  president  of  a  settlement  club  and  a  member  of  the  Urban 
League.  After  coming  to  Chicago  three  years  passed  before  she  mingled  much  with 
people.  She  had  always  done  community  work  in  her  southern  home  and  feels  that 
her  reluctance  here  was  due  to  the  fact  that  she  did  not  know  what  the  northern  people 
were  like.    She  found  them  friendly  enough  when  at  last  she  did  associate  with  them. 

Sentiments  on  community  problems. — ^They  came  to  Chicago  because  they  had 
visited  here  and  liked  it  well  enough  to  come  back  and  settle.  Conditions  are  not  all 
that  they  would  like.  They  would  like  to  see  Negroes  allowed  to  Uve  anywhere  they 
choose  without  hindrance,  they  would  suppress  moving  pictures  that  reveal  murder, 
drinking,  and  similar  acts  that  lead  young  people  to  commit  crimes.  They  would  also 
like  to  see  newspapers  abandon  their  habit  of  printing  articles  that  are  derogatory  to 
the  Negro,  thus  creating  prejudice,  and  of  printing  items  imfit  for  children.  Also 
they  would  like  to  see  better  homes  for  Negroes. 

For  the  Negroes,  they  feel,  life  in  the  North  is  considerably  easier  than  in  the 
South,  since  they  can  always  get  plenty  of  work  and  do  not  have  to  work  so  hard  as 
in  the  South.  The  mixed  schools  in  the  North  are  especially  appreciated  because  no 
discrimination  can  creep  in.  The  general  lack  of  segregation  on  street  cars,  in  parks, 
and  in  similar  public  places  also  pleases  them.  StiQ  they  see  difficulties  for  southern 
Negroes  who  come  North  to  live  and  are  easily  led  astray.  Southern  Negroes  are 
not  accustomed  to  the  new  kinds  of  work  and  are  inchned  to  slight  it.  This  is,  of 
course,  unsatisfactory  to  their  employers  and  accounts  in  some  measure  for  the  fre- 
quency with  which  they  change  jobs.  This  may  also  account  for  the  fact  that  white 
people  are  averse  to  paying  migrants  well. 


Mr.  L —  was  graduated  from  the  Carbondale  (111.)  high  school  and  the  Southern 
Illinois  State  Normal  School,  while  Mrs.  L —  was  graduated  from  Hyde  Park  High 
School  and  the  Chicago  Normal  School.  The  latter  is  a  music  teacher.  Before  com- 
ing to  Chicago,  Mr.  L —  was  a  school  principal  in  Mounds,  Illinois,  and  Mrs.  L — 
also  was  a  teacher.    They  are  northern  people,  the  husband  having  been  born  in 


East  St.  Louis  and  the  wife  in  Chicago.  They  have  a  daughter,  three  years  of  age, 
and  have  living  with  them  a  niece  and  nephew,  six  and  five  years  old,  as  well  as  two 
adult  women  relatives. 

Economic  sufficiency. — ^As  a  railway  mail  clerk,  Mr.  L —  earns  $125  a  month.  He 
owns  a  house  and  lot  in  Carbondale  and  carries  insurance  on  his  life  and  property. 
They  spend  $37.50  a  month  for  rent,  about  $10  for  miscellaneous  items,  $15  a  week  for 
food,  $4  a  month  for  gas,  $1  for  barber's  services,  and  always  $10  a  month  is  added  to 
the  family's  bank  accoimt. 

Housing  and  neighborhood  expenses. — ^In  April,  1919,  a  flat  building  south  of  Sixty- 
third  Street,  previously  occupied  by  white  people,  was  opened  to  Negroes.  The 
L —  family  were  the  first  of  the  Negroes  to  move  in.  A  few  white  families  wished  to 
remain  and  lived  in  the  same  building  with  the  Negroes.  Mr.  L —  says :  "We  objected, 
as  they  were  not  the  kind  of  people  we  wanted  to  live  with.  My  sister-in-law  acted 
as  agent  of  the  building,  and  the  condition  of  some  of  the  flats  was  terrible.  The 
owner  was  arrogant  when  the  Negroes  first  came  in,  but  he  soon  found  that  we  would 
not  be  pleased  with  just  anything.  He  told  us  he  saw  that  we  were  particular  and 
wanted  things  nice,  and,  said  he,  'Seeing  that  you  are  that  way,  I'U  do  the  best  I 
can  for  you,  as  I  beHeve  you  will  take  care  of  the  flat.'  The  Negroes  insisted  on  the 
laundry  being  cleaned  and  it  is  now  being  used." 

The  L —  family  has  had  three  stoves  since  moving  in.  After  thoroughly  renovat- 
ing the  building  and  making  many  of  the  repairs  themselves,  the  sanitary  conditions 
are  good,  and  the  owner  makes  no  further  objection  to  maintaining  the  good  order  of 

The  white  people  of  the  neighborhood  objected  to  having  the  building  occupied 
by  Negroes.  White  boys  of  the  neighborhood  stoned  the  building,  and  its  tenants 
were  obliged  to  call  upon  the  police  for  protection.  This  antagonism  now  seems  to 
have  disappeared.    The  white  and  Negro  children  play  together  amicably. 

Community  participation. — Mrs.  L —  attends  the  First  Presbyterian  Church 
regularly  and  Mr.  L —  is  a  member  and  secretary  of  the  board  of  trustees  of  the 
A.M.E.  Mission.  He  is  a  Mason  and  a  member  of  the  Woodlawn  Commimity 
Organization,  which  has  the  betterment  of  the  neighborhood  as  its  aim.  He  plays 
tennis  for  recreation  and  goes  to  concerts  and  the  movies  for  entertainment.  The 
children  in  the  family  have  made  use  of  public  playgrounds  and  libraries.  Bathing- 
beaches  have  been  sought  occasionally,  and  contacts  have  been  made  with  the 
St.  Lawrence  Mission,  a  neighborhood  institution. 

Opinions  on  race  relations. — Mr.  L —  thinks  that  agitation  is  of  no  assistance  to 
the  problem  and  draws  attention  to  the  fact  that  lack  of  agitation  on  the  part  of 
newspapers  averted  a  riot  in  connection  with  one  recent  racial  disturbance.  "Hous- 
ing is  the  greatest  difficulty  confronted  by  the  migrant  from  the  South."  It  is  his 
opinion,  further,  that  the  Negroes  are  not  understood,  that  the  white  people  fear  them 
until  they  become  really  acquainted  with  the  Negroes.  "Contact,"  he  says,  "is  the 
only  thing  that  will  help  to  make  conditions  better.  It  is  just  a  question  of  under- 
standing each  other." 


Mr.  A —  was  born  in  Chicago  and  his  wife  in  Helena,  Arkansas.  He  was  edu- 
cated in  the  Chicago  pubUc  schools,  and  his  wife  attended  Fisk  University,  Nashville, 
Tennessee,  and  afterward  the  Chicago  Musical  College. 


Mr.  A —  is  light  in  complexion  and  is  frequently  mistaken  for  a  white  man. 
Several  years  ago,  without  announcing  his  race,  he  obtained  work  in  a  label  factory 
and  remained  for  some  time  until  it  was  discovered  that  he  was  not  a  white  man,  and 
therefore  the  only  Negro  in  the  establishment.  The  officials,  being  the  first  to  learn 
his  racial  identity,  decided  to  keep  him  as  long  as  no  objection  came  from  the  other 
white  employees.  In  a  few  years  he  became  superintendent  of  the  factory,  which 
position  he  held  for  eight  years.  He  was  treated  as  an  equal  by  members  of  the  firm, 
who  visited  him  at  his  home  and  invited  him  to  their  club.  He  was  also  president  of 
the  company's  outing  club. 

A  short  time  ago  he  decided  to  enter  business  for  himself,  and  both  he  and  his 
wife  took  courses  in  an  embalming  school.  He  now  has  a  business  with  stock  and 
fixtures  valued  at  $10,000. 

Economic  sufficiency. — ^His  business  income  affords  a  comfortable  Uvelihood  and 
a  surplus  for  investment.  He  has  bought  one  house  and  built  another.  These 
two  are  valued  at  $8,000  and  yield  $90  monthly.  He  also  owns  stock  in  the  Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad  and  a  fire  insurance  company,  has  $300  invested  in  Liberty  bonds 
and  owns  a  $1,000  automobile. 

Community  participation. — Mr.  and  Mrs.  A —  attend  Congregational  church 
services  every  Simday  and  get  much  pleasure'  from  concerts,  lectures,  and  shows  in 
the  "Loop."  Their  principal  recreation  is  motoring.  Mr.  A —  is  president  of  an 
association  of  business  men  and  of  a  charity  organization.  He  is  a  member  of  several 
fraternal  organizations,  contributes  to  Provident  Hospital,  United  Charities,  and  the 
Urban  League.    His  wife  is  an  active  committee  member  of  a  charity  organization. 

Opinions  on  local  race  problems. — Mr.  A —  thinks  there  would  be  no  housing  prob- 
lem if  prejudice  were  not  so  marked.  He  mentioned  a  subdivision  east  of  Stony 
Island  Avenue  where  it  is  specifically  stated  that  Negroes  are  not  desired.  Homes 
there  are  being  sold  for  prices  within  the  reach  of  Negroes,  and  he  feels  that  at  least 
500  Negroes  would  be  glad  to  pay  cash  for  such  homes  anywhere  in  Chicago  if  they 
were  given  the  opportimity.  He  feels  that  proper  protection  should  be  given  Negroes 
against  bombers. 


Mr.  B —  is  seventy-two  years  old  and  his  wife  sixty-four.  They  came  to  Chicago 
during  the  migration.  They  had  difficulty  in  finding  work  suited  to  their  advanced 
age  and  in  accustoming  themselves  to  the  simplest  changes  in  environment.  Neither 
of  them  can  read  or  write. 

Home  life  in  the  South. — ^In  Alabama  they  owned  an  eight-acre  farm  and  a  four- 
room  house  and  raised  hogs,  chickens,  and  cows.  They  both  had  worked  twelve 
hours  a  day  for  years  and  by  denying  themselves  even  a  comfortable  home  had 
saved  $2,000.  They  were  members  of  a  church,  although  they  could  not  actively 
participate  in  church  or  other  affairs  of  their  rural  commimity.  When  the  migration 
fever  struck  them  they  sold  their  property,  drew  out  their  $2,000,  and  followed  the 

Hom^  life  in  Chicago. — They  first  secured  rooms  and  began  the  search  for  work. 
Mr.  B —  finally  secured  a  job  in  a  livery  stable  at  $18  a  week,  but  the  work  was  uncer- 
tain and  the  wages  insufficient.  Mrs.  B —  went  to  work  cleaning  taxicabs.  lUness 
and  frequent  lapses  in  work  depleted  their  savings.  They  rented  an  eight-room  house 
and  took  in  lodgers,  hoping  to  insure  a  steady  income.    They  have  nine  lodgers  in 


these  eight  rooms,  in  addition  to  themselves.  There  is  no  furnace  heat;  the  bathroom 
is  out  of  repair,  the  halls  dark  and  dirty,  and  they  are  using  their  old  furniture  brought 
from  the  South.  Three  of  the  women  lodgers  came  from  the  same  Alabama  community. 
The  habits  and  customs  of  this  household  are  unchanged.  They  go  out  seldom,  and 
aU  of  the  women  smoke  pipes  and  use  snuff. 

Of  the  original  $2,000  which  Mr.  B —  brought  with  him,  he  has  $250  left. 

They  make  no  use  of  civic  and  social  agencies  and  do  not  go  to  church  because 
they  think  Chicago  Negroes  are  unsociable.  They  prize  the  fact,  however,  that 
work  is  plentiful  for  the  lodgers,  and  they  have  no  intention  of  returning  South. 


Mr.  D —  was  a  migrant  and  a  member  of  a  party  of  over  a  hundred  Negroes  who 
left  Hattiesburg,  Mississippi,  in  the  autumn  of  1916. 

He  was  a  barber  at  home  and  earned  an  average  of  $25  a  week.  Mrs.  D —  was 
a  good  housewife.  They  owned  a  house  and  lot  valued  at  $1,000  and  furniture  valued 
at  $500.    They  have  two  children. 

Motive  for  coming  to  Chicago. — Mr.  D —  had  always  read  the  Chicago  Defender, 
and  usually  got  in  a  supply  of  these  papers  to  seU  to  his  customers  and  to  supply 
topics  for  barber-shop  discussion.  His  daughter,  then  a  student  at  Straight  College  in 
New  Orleans,  was  to  be  graduated  that  year,  and  he  went  to  New  Orleans  to  spend  a 
week.  WhUe  there  he  worked  in  a  barber  shop.  He  found  that  the  migration  was 
being  much  discussed.  One  day  a  man  came  into  the  shop  and  said  he  was  a  repre- 
sentative of  a  northern  industry  that  was  anxious  to  get  Negroes  to  come  North 
and  work  for  it.  He  argued  that  the  North  had  freed  the  Negroes,  but  had  left  them 
in  the  South  where  they  had  not  received  good  treatment,  so  that  at  this  late  date  the 
North  was  trying  to  right  an  old  wrong  and  was  now  offering  to  Negroes  a  chance 
to  work.    On  the  other  hand  the  Negroes  were  indebted  to  the  North  for  their  freedom. 

When  Mr.  D —  returned  home  he  sold  his  barber  shop  and  left  for  the  North 
with  his  wife  and  children. 

Life  in  Chicago. — Opening  a  place  of  business  in  Chicago,  he  called  it  the  Hatties- 
burg Barber  Shop.  It  is  patronized  largely  by  Hattiesburg  people  who  came  up  in 
his  party.  His  earnings  are  larger  here,  but  at  first  his  wife  was  forced  to  work  in 
the  Stock  Yards  at  $10  a  week  to  help  meet  the  family  budget.  Occasionally  now 
she  works  as  a  hairdresser.  They  pay  $46.50  a  month  for  rent.  Their  clothing  bill 
amounts  to  $650  a  year.  Last  year  they  spent  $200  for  medicine  and  an  average  of 
$18  a  week  for  food.    Their  insurance  premiums  total  $6  a  month. 

Community  participation. — ^In  the  South  the  entire  family  was  active  in  church 
afiEairs.  In  Chicago  they  have  continued  their  church  connections,  and  Mr.  D — 
is  one  of  the  officials  at  the  Olivet  Baptist  Church.  They  go  to  church  four  times  a 

Adjustments  to  Chicago. — ^They  were  quick  to  begin  adjustment  to  their  new  sur- 
roundings, profiting  by  the  advice  and  instructions  of  their  present  pastor.  At  the 
end  of  six  months  they  felt  themselves  quite  at  home.  They  feel  the  need  for 
using  more  careful  English  and  are  more  formal  in  their  greetings  and  relations  with 
persons  whom  they  meet.  They  enjoy  the  "freedom  of  speech  and  action"  allowed 
in  Chicago,  the  privilege  of  voting,  the  freedom  from  segregation,  and  the  absence  of 
Jim  Crow  laws.    They  think  Chicago  is  fair  to  Negroes  in  so  far  as  laws  are  con- 


cemed,  but  believe  there  should  be  better  enforcement  of  the  laws.  They  find  life 
easier  here,  although  there  is  more  work  to  be  done.  They  feel  a  great  satisfaction  in 
the  more  modern  homes  and  other  comforts  and  pleasures  they  are  able  to  obtain. 
Each  month  they  add  a  small  amount  to  their  bank  account.  They  suggest  that 
Negroes  who  have  became  adjusted  to  Chicago  should  take  pains  in  a  kindly  spirit  to 
inform  newcomers  concerning  the  proper  deportment.  They  believe  that  if  advice  is 
offered  in  the  right  manner  it  wiU  always  be  gladly  received.  They  do  not  intend  to 
return  South. 


A  son-in-law  of  the  B —  family,  also  from  Mississippi,  is  employed  at  the  Stock 
Yards.  His  impressions  throw  light  on  the  adjustment  of  migrants  and  on  their 
views.    He  said: 

"A  friend  met  me  when  I  first  came  to  Chicago  and  took  me  to  the  Stock  Yards 
and  got  me  a  job.  I  went  to  the  front  of  the  street  car  the  first  time  I  entered  one 
here  because  my  friend  told  me  to;  I  would  not  sit  beside  a  white  person  at  first,  but 
I  finally  got  courage  to  do  so. 

"At  Swift's  the  whites  were  friendly.  There  I  was  in  the  dry-salt  department  at 
225  cents  an  hour.  The  foreman,  a  northerner,  had  been  there  thirty-five  years. 
He  was  fair  to  all.  I  worked  with  Americans,  Poles,  and  Irish.  But  the  work  was 
very  hard,  and  I  had  to  leave.  I  carried  my  lunch  with  me.  Negroes  and  whites 
there  eat  together  when  they  wish.  I  am  now  working  at  Wilson's.  The  Irish  and 
Poles  are  a  mean  class.  They  try  to  get  the  Negroes  to  join  the  union.  When  the 
Negroes  went  to  work  Friday  after  the  riot,  most  of  the  Irish  and  Poles  quit  and 
didn't  come  back  to  work  until  Monday.  They  came  back  jawing  because  the 
Negroes  didn't  join  the  imion.  White  members  of  the  imion  got  paid  when  their 
houses  had  been  burned — ^$50  if  they  had  families  and  $25  if  they  were  single. 
Colored  members  of  the  union  got  nothing  when  their  houses  had  been  burned. 
That's  why  I  won't  join.  You  pay  money  and  get  nothing.  The  whites  worked 
during  the  riot ;  we  had  to  lose  that  time.  I  lost  two  weeks.  It  seemed  strange  to  me. 
It  looked  imfair.  They  are  still  mean  and  'dig  ditches'  for  us.  They  go  to  the 
foreman  and  knock  us,  just  trying  to  get  us  out  of  jobs.  The  foreman  so  far  hasn't 
paid  any  attention  to  it.  I  am  working  in  the  fresh-pork  department,  handling 

"The  Negroes  stick  together  and  tend  to  their  business.  Some  of  the  Americans 
and  Polish  are  very  friendly.  Everybody  does  his  own  work.  We  use  the  same 
showers  and  locker-rooms.  They  don't  want  us  to  work  because  we  are  not  in  the 
union.  One  asked  me  yesterday  to  join.  The  Poles  said  non-union  men  would  not 
get  a  raise,  but  we  got  it." 

Opinions  on  race  relations. — "When  I  first  came  I  thought  the  city  was  wide  open — 
I  mean  friendly  and  free.  It  seems  that  there  is  more  discrimination  and  unfriendly 
feeling  than  I  thought.  I  notice  it  at  work  and  in  public  places.  Wages  are  not 
increasing  like  the  high  cost  of  living.  As  soon  as  one  gets  a  raise,  the  cost  of  living 
goes  up  [May,  1920]. 

"The  whites  act  just  as  disorderly  on  cars  as  the  Negroes.  Monday  evening 
two  white  laborers  sitting  beside  a  white  woman  cursed  so  much  that  I  had  to  look 
around.    Nothing  is  ever  said  about  such  incidents. 


"Rent  goes  up  whenever  people  think  of  it.  We  have  to  pay  $8  more  since 
April.  Things  are  getting  worse  for  us  and  we  need  to  think  about  it.  StiU  it  is 
better  here  than  in  the  South." 


Mr.  S —  was  bom  in  Baltimore  in  1851.  At  the  time  of  the  gold  rush  to  Cali- 
fornia, his  father  took  his  famUy  and  started  out  to  seek  his  fortune.  They  had  got 
as  far  as  Chicago  when  his  father  was  robbed  and  the  journey  ended.  Mr.  S —  has 
lived  here  since.  He  has  seen  many  changes  during  his  sixty-three  years'  residence  in 
Chicago.  When  he  came  here  the  city  limits  were  Twelfth  Street  on  the  South  and 
Chicago  Avenue  on  the  North,  and  there  were  no  street  cars.  The  Negro  popidation 
was  175.  His  parents  took  him  on  Simday  to  the  Railway  Chapel  Simday  School, 
started  in  1857  in  two  passenger  cars  by  a  Presbyterian  minister.  Father  Kent. 
The  first  building  occupied  by  this  congregation  was  on  the  site  where  the  Board  of 
Trade  now  stands,  141  West  Jackson  Boulevard.  This  was  destroyed  in  the  fire  of 
1871.  The  second  church  was  at  the  comer  of  State  and  Thirteenth  streets,  where 
the  Fair  warehouse  now  stands.  The  next  site  of  the  church  was  that  of  the  Institu- 
tional Church  at  Thirty-eighth  and  Dearborn  streets. 

Early  housing  experience. — Prejudice,  Mr.  S —  says,  was  unknown  in  the  early 
days.  He  has  lived  south  of  Thirty-first  Street  for  thirty-five  years.  They  were  the 
first  Negro  family  to  enter  the  block  in  which  they  now  live.  He  built  his  home 
there  and  has  been  living  there  twenty  years. 


Mr.  G —  was  bom  in  La  Grange,  Texas,  the  son  of  a  minister.  As  a  boy  he  worked 
on  his  father's  farm,  went  to  school,  and  progressed  as  far  as  the  eighth  grade.  He 
was  a  good  baseball  player.  He  played  first  in  Forth  Worth,  Texas,  then  in  New  York 
and  Philadelphia,  and  finally  came  to  Chicago  in  1907.  The  highest  amount  he  had 
been  able  to  earn  was  $9  a  week.  His  first  job  in  Chicago  netted  him  about  $1,000 
a  year.  In  1910  he  had  acquired  ownership  of  the  team,  and  now,  at  the  age  of 
forty,  it  nets  him  $15,000  a  year.  His  team  has  traveled  extensively,  having  covered 
the  principal  cities  in  the  United  States  at  least  twenty-five  times. 

Home  life. — Mrs.  G —  was  bom  in  Sherman,  Texas.  She  completed  the  first- 
year  high  school  at  her  home.  She  is  a  modest  woman  and  a  good  housekeeper. 
They  have  two  children,  a  son  of  nine  and  a  daughter  of  three.  Mr.  G—  has  moved 
four  times  in  Chicago,  seeking  desirable  living  quarters  for  his  family.  He  owns  a 
three-story  biick  building  containing  nine  rooms,  the  house  in  which  he  now  lives. 
In  addition  he  owns  $7,000  worth  of  Liberty  bonds  and  values  his  baseball  team  and 
other  personal  property  at  about  $35,000. 

Community  participation. — ^Both  Mr.  and  Mrs.  G —  were  church  members  in  the 
South.  This  membership  is  continued  in  Chicago.  Mrs.  G —  belongs  to  an  A.M.E. 
church  and  is  interested  in  and  helps  support  Provident  Hospital  and  Phyllis  Wheatley 
Home  for  Girls,  while  Mr.  G —  is  a  member  of  several  fratemal  orders.  City  Federa- 
tion of  Clubs,  and  the  Appomattox  Club.  Their  recreation  is  baseball  and  dancing, 
and  they  find  entertainment  in  attending  theaters  and  orchestra  concerts  principally 
in  the  "Loop."  Mr.  G —  is  very  much  interested  now  in  a  playground  which  is 
being  established  near  his  home  and  a  tennis  and  croquet  club  for  young  people  in  the 
same  vicinity. 



Before  coming  to  Chicago  in  1886  Mrs.  L —  had  lived  in  Washington  and  Detroit. 
Mr.  L —  was  successively  a  raUroad  porter,  a  night  watchman,  and  a  janitor.  There 
are  four  children,  three  daughters  and  a  son.  Two  of  the  daughters  are  married  and 
have  families.  One  is  a  dressmaker,  another  a  stenographer,  and  another  an  accom- 
plished musician.  The  son  is  a  typist.  Several  years  ago  Mr.  L —  purchased  a  lot 
near  Forty-seventh  Street  on  Wells  Street  on  which  he  built  his  home.  In  this 
neighborhood  the  family  was  reared.    Mr.  L —  died  several  years  ago. 

Riot  experience. — Although  the  L —  family  has  been  living  at  Forty-seventh 
and  Wells  streets  for  over  thirty  years,  and  relations  between  the  family  and  the 
white  neighbors  in  the  block  were  cordial,  gangs  of  hoodliuns  from  other  districts 
practically  destroyed  their  property.  The  house  was  attacked,  some  of  the  furniture 
was  stolen,  and  some  was  destroyed.  The  heavy  pieces  of  furniture  were  broken  up 
and  burned  in  the  street.  The  building  was  so  badly  damaged  that  they  were  forced 
to  move  into  a  boarding-house  for  a  time. 

Community  participation. — The  L —  family  lived  in  a  section  of  the  city  in  which 
there  were  few  Negroes,  but  maintained  an  active  relationship  with  organizations  of 
the  Negro  community.  They  are  members  of  the  A.M.E.  Church  and  Sunday 
school  and  of  two  fraternal  organizations.  Mrs.  L —  is  a  member  of  the  Linen  Club 
of  the  Provident  Hospital  and  is  actively  interested  in  the  Old  Folks  Home.  Miss  L — , 
one  of  the  daughters,  is  well  known  in  the  community  as  a  musician  and  composer. 


Dr.  W —  and  family  came  to  Chicago  in  1910.  He  had  lived  in  Mexico  City 
until  the  revolution  made  living  there  hazardous.  He  was  in  good  circumstances, 
maintaining  a  comfortable  household  with  servants.  Since  he  has  been  in  Chicago 
he  has  had  considerable  difficulty  in  finding  a  home  in  a  neighborhood  fit  for  rearing 
his  children.  He  finally  purchased  a  home  on  Grand  Boulevard  which  is  valued  at 
more  than  $2  5,000.  It  is  a  three-story  building  with  brown-stone  front,  ten  rooms  and 
two  baths,  and  many  works  of  art  installed  by  the  artist,  Holslag,  who  formerly  owned 
the  house,  and  who  himself  painted  some  of  the  decorations.  Dr.  W —  has  spent 
several  thousand  dollars  on  the  furnishings. 

Hom^  life. — ^Besides  the  doctor  and  his  family  there  are  two  other  relatives.  The 
physician's  income  is  adequate  to  maintain  this  establishment  and  in  addition  two 
high-class  automobiles.  Mrs.  W —  is  a  social  leader  and  does  much  entertaining. 
She  is  a  patron  of  community  drama  and  attends  grand  opera  and  the  leading  theaters 
in  the  "Loop."  They  were  formerly  Catholics  but  now  attend  the  Bahai  Assembly. 
Dr.  W —  is  a  member  of  two  fraternal  orders  and  two  social  clubs.  Their  recreation 
is  tennis,  boating,  motoring,  and  bathing.  He  is  a  director  of  the  Chicago  Health 
Society.  He  is  an  examining  physician  and  a  member  of  the  board  of  directors  in  a 
life  insurance  company.  Both  are  members  of  the  Art  Institute  and  are  active  in 
supporting  the  settlements  and  hospitals  of  the  community. 

In  addition  to  her  social  duties  Mrs.  W —  continues  the  study  of  music.  She  is 
chaperon  at  the  regular  dances  of  a  post  of  the  American  Legion  held  in  the  South 
Side  Community  Center;  a  member  of  the  Library  Committee  of  the  Y.W.C.A., 
and  is  interested  in  the  entertainment  of  Negro  students  of  the  University  of  Chicago. 


They  are  living  in  a  neighborhood  in  which  several  bombings  of  homes  of  Negroes 
have  occurred,  but  Mrs.  W —  says  that  their  relations  with  the  white  neighbors  are 


Mr.  C — ■  was  bom  in  Chicago  in  1869.  His  grandmother  was  part  Indian  and  his 
grandfather  of  Scotch  extraction.  The  grandfather  was  bom  in  Cincinnati,  and 
was  graduated  from  Oberlin  College.  His  father's  brother  was  a  personal  friend  of 
Owen  ILovejoy  and  Wendell  Phillips.  In  Leavenworth,  Kansas,  a  monument  had 
been  erected  to  him  as  the  first  Negro  captain  of  a  volunteer  company.  He  fought 
with  General  Buckner  in  New  Orleans,  was  active  as  an  abolitionist,  and  his  wife 
was  one  of  the  women  sent  to  Kansas  to  establish  schools  among  Negroes.  She  taught 
school  for  thirty-six  years  and  was  one  of  the  first  women  in  the  coimtry  who  were 
graduated  as  kindergarten  teachers.  His  maternal  grandfather  bought  a  home  in 
Chicago  in  1854  and  lived  where  the  Federal  Building  now  stands.  At  the  time  of 
Mr.  C — 's  birth  his  father  lived  on  Plymouth  Court,  then  called  Diana  Place.  They 
lived  for  thirty-one  years  on  South  La  Salle  Street,  where  they  owned  their  home. 

Economic  sufficiency. — ^Mr.  C^  is  a  graduate  of  the  Chicago  College  of  Dental 
Surgery  and  practiced  his  profession  imtU  ill  health  forced  him  into  other  fields.  He 
has  been  a  clerk  in  the  county  treasurer's  office,  assistant  bookkeeper  in  a  white  bank 
in  Memphis,  which  position  he  held  for  two  years,  and  assistant  electrician  for  a  tele- 
phone company.  Now,  at  fifty-one,  he  is  superintendent  of  the  Western  Exposition 
Company's  building.  Twice  he  has  lost  his  savings  by  bank  failures.  He  lost  $9,000 
through  the  failure  of  the  Day  and  Night  Bank  in  Memphis,  Tennessee.  He  owns  a 
house  and  lot,  oil  and  mining  stocks  valued  at  $4,600,  Liberty  bonds.  Thrift  stamps, 
and  carries  a  small  bank  balance.  His  present  home  is  a  four-room  flat  in  a  building 
on  South  State  Street,  which  contains  forty  apartments  and  two  stores.  With  him 
lives  the  farmly  of  his  younger  brother,  who  has  a  twelve-year-old  son.  He  is  a 
member  of  the  Baptist  church  and  two  fraternal  orders.  His  chief  recreation  is 
swimming,  and  he  finds  his  entertainment  in  the  "Loop"  theaters  and  the  city 


Mr.  and  Mrs.  T —  came  to  Chicago  in  1919,  the  wife  arriving  one  month  before 
her  husband.  They  had  been  living  in  St.  Louis,  Missouri,  where  Mr.  T—  was 
employed  as  a  roUer  in  an  aluminum  works.  Prior  to  that  time  he  had  been  a  house- 
man, and  before  that  a  teamster. 

There  are  two  children.  One  is  fourteen  years  old  and  in  the  first-year  high  school, 
and  the  other  is  seven  and  in  the  first-grade  grammar  school. 

Mrs.  T —  has  always  been  a  substantial  aid  to  her  husband,  and,  as  she  says,  she 
"  doesn't  always  wait  for  him  to  bring  something  to  her,  but  goes  out  herself  and  helps 
to  get  it."  Accordingly,  when  reports  were  being  circulated  that  Chicago  offered 
good  jobs  and  a  comfortable  living,  she  came  up  to  investigate  while  her  husband  held 
his  job  in  St.  Louis. 

Home  life  in  Chicago. — The  family  lives  on  State  Street  over  a  store.  They  have 
moved  four  times  since  coming  to  Chicago  in  1919,  once  to  be  nearer  work,  once  to 
get  out  of  a  neighborhood  that  suffered  during  the  riot,  and  twice  to  fimd  a  more  desir- 
able neighborhood  for  their  family.    They  are  not  satisfied  with  their  present  home 


and  are  planning  to  move  again  as  soon  as  a  more  suitable  place  can  be  found.  With 
them  live  a  sister-in-law  and  her  child,  who  are  regarded  as  members  of  the  family. 
The  house  is  in  poor  sanitary  condition.  The  toUet  is  in  the  yard  and  used  by  two 
families.  There  is  no  bath.  The  sister-in-law  is  a  music  teacher  but  does  not  earn 
much.    She  pays  board  when  she  can  afford  it. 

Mr.  T —  is  forty-seven  and  his  wife  forty-six  years  old.  He  is  employed  at  the 
International  Harvester  Company  and  earns  $35  a  week  for  a  nine-hour  day.  He 
consumes  an  hour  and  a  half  each  day  going  to  work. 

Although  Mr.  T —  lived  on  a  farm  and  too  far  from  school  to  attend,  he  taught 
himself  to  read  and  write.  Mrs.  T —  went  as  far  as  the  eighth  grade  in  grammar 

Community  participation. — ^The  entire  family  belongs  to  a  Methodist  church. 
Mr.  T —  is  a  member  of  the  Knights  of  Pythias  and  Mrs.  T —  is  a  member  of  the 
Sisters  of  the  Mysterious  Ten.  They  have  no  active  recreation.  For  amusement 
they  attend  motion-picture  shows  in  the  neighborhood.  The  children  regularly  use 
the  playgroimd  near  their  home  and  the  Twenty-sixth  Street  Beach. 

Adjustment  to  Chicago. — ^Their  most  difficult  adjustment  has  been  in  housing. 
They  think  landlords  should  be  forced  to  provide  better  homes  for  the  people  in  view 
of  the  high  rents. 


Mr.  B —  was  bom  in  Texas,  lived  for  a  number  of  years  in  Tuskegee,  Alabama, 
moved  to  Montgomery,  and  thence  to  Chicago  in  the  summer  of  1906.  His  first 
position  here  was  that  of  coachman  for  $30  a  month,  room,  and  board.  His  next 
position  was  that  of  porter,  working  fifteen  hours  a  day  for  $30  a  week.  He  accumu- 
lated a  small  amount  of  money,  and,  wishing  to  enter  business  for  himself,  and  not 
having  sufficient  funds  to  attend  a  specialized  school,  he  secured  a  job  with  an 
embalmer  and  worked  for  tiim  four  years.  In  1913  he  entered  the  undertaking  busi- 
ness for  himself.  He  is  now  buying  a  two-story  brick  building  on  a  five-year  contract, 
to  serve  as  a  place  of  business  and  a  home.  The  business  is  young  and  was  begun  on 
small  capital.  To  establish  himseK  he  exhausted  his  httle  bank  account  and  sold  his 
Liberty  bonds.  His  eqiupment  is  stiU  incomplete,  and  he  rents  funeral  cars  and  other 
equipment  necessary  for  burials. 

Community  participation. — ^Both  Mr.  and  Mrs.  B —  are  members  of  several  local 
improvement  clubs;  they  attend  Friendship  Baptist  Church,  and  each  belongs  to 
three  fraternal  orders. 

Sentiments  on  local  conditions. — Mrs.  B — ■  thinks  the  town  too  large  for  much 
friendliness.  Mr.  B —  believes  that  there  should  be  a  segregated  vice  district.  His 
principal  objection  to  the  present  scattering  of  houses  of  prostitution  is  that  his  wife, 
who  is  frequently  obliged  to  return  home  late  at  night,  is  subjected  to  insults  from  men 
in  the  neighborhood.  He  thinks  there  should  be  a  law  requiring  that  landlords  dean 
flats  at  least  once  a  year. 


Dr.  C —  is  a  good  example  of  the  nimibers  of  young  Negro  professional  men  in 
Chicago.  His  office  is  on  State  Street  near  Thirty-fifth.  He  was  born  in  Albany, 
New  York,  and  his  wife  in  Keokuk,  Iowa.    They  have  lived  in  Chicago  since  1915. 

Early  experiences  in  profession. — ^Through  a  civil-service  examination  Dr.  C — • 
secured  a  place  as  junior  ph}rsician  at  the  Municipal  Tuberculosis  Sanitarium.    At 


the  same  time  he  passed  with  high  rating  an  examination  for  intemeship  at  the  Oak 
Forest  Infirmary.  At  the  latter  place  he  was  promptly  rejected  because  of  his 
color,  and  at  the  former  he  was  asked  to  leave  nine  hours  after  he  reported  for 

Economic  status. — Dr.  C —  owns  a  house  and  lot  in  his  former  home,  Albany,  which 
he  values  at  $14,000  and  other  property  and  stock  holdings  valued  at  $13,000. 

Educaiion. — Dr.  C —  was  graduated  from  the  Brooklyn  Grammar  School,  the 
Boys'  High  School  of  Brooklyn,  and  Cornell  University,  where  he  obtained  his  A.B. 
and  M.D.  degrees.  Mrs.  C —  is  a  graduate  nurse.  He  is  at  present  an  associate 
surgeon  and  chief  of  the  dispensary  of  a  local  hospital. 

Community  participation. — ^He  has  already  assumed  a  position  of  leadership  in 
the  social  activities  of  the  community,  is  a  trustee  of  the  new  Metropolitan  Church, 
a  thirty-second  degree  Mason,  a  member  of  the  EJiights  of  Pythias,  Chicago  Medical 
Society,  American  Medical  Association,  Urban  League,  and  a  director  of  the  Com- 
munity Service,  and  also  an  instructor  at  the  Chicago  Hospital  College. 

Opinions  on  race  relations. — ^He  beheves  that  the  recent  migration  of  Negroes  has 
been  an  advantage  in  teaching  Chicago  Negroes  the  value  of  property  ownership  and 
co-operation.  He  thinks  the  scarcity  of  homes  for  Negroes  can  be  relieved  by  allow- 
ing Negroes  "as  much  freedom  as  the  American  dollar."  Definite  suggestions  for 
improving  conditions  within  the  race  he  gives  as  follows: 

1.  Establishment  of  a  permanent  medium  for  imderstanding  between  the  two 
races — a  permanent  commission  to  act  in  the  adjustment  of  difficulties  of  any  kind. 
This  body  should  be  composed  of  Negroes  and  whites. 

2.  Rigid  enforcement  of  existing  laws. 

3.  A  systematic  campaign  under  the  direction  of  the  commission  among  Negroes 
to  teach  them  personal  hygiene. 

4.  Negroes  should  join  labor  imions  and  refuse  to  serve  as  strike  breakers. 

5.  When  Negroes  do  act  as  strike  breakers,  the  doctor  thinks,  race  friction  is 
created  and  labor  is  cheapened.  Negroes  can  obtain  a  square  deal  from  the  imions 
only  when  they  have  joined  them  in  sufficient  numbers  to  demand  justice  by  becom- 
ing an  important  factor  in  the  unions.  If  they  are  not  permitted  in  certain  unions 
they  should  form  groups  of  their  own  for  collective  bargaining. 


Nimibers  of  young  Negro  lawyers  are  establishing  themselves  in  Chicago,  and 
their  influence  already  is  being  felt  in  the  community.  A  good  example  of  this  group 
is  Mr.  J — ,  who,  although  only  twenty-eight  years  old,  has  been  actively  practicing 
law  six  years.  He  was  bom  in  Kentucky  and  has  lived  in  Indiana,  Kansas,  Ohio, 
New  York,  and  Oklahoma. 

Education. — ^He  completed  high  school  in  Kansas,  graduated  from  Oberlin 
College,  and  then  went  to  Columbia  University,  New  York,  and  received  the  degrees 
of  Master  of  Arts  and  Bachelor  of  Laws.  His  wife  completed  the  junior  year  in 
college  in  New  York,  studied  art  in  New  York  City,  and  is  skilled  in  china  painting. 

Home  life. — Mr.  and  Mrs.  J —  have  one  child  of  four  years.  They  live  in  one  of 
the  1,400  buildings  owned  by  a  real  estate  man  of  that  district  who  "notoriously 
neglects  his  property."    The  struggle  to  establish  himself  during  the  first  few  years 


in  Chicago  was  difficult.  Now  Mr.  J —  has  the  confidence  of  a  large  number  of 
people,  and  a  clientele  which  provides  a  comfortable  income. 

Community  participation. — Mr.  J —  is  a  trustee  of  the  institutional  A.M.E. 
Church,  chairman  of  the  United  Political  League,  member  of  the  Y.M.C.A.,  Knights 
of  Pythias,  a  Greek-letter  fraternity  and  the  Urban  League,  and  is  a  member  of  the 
Executive  Committee  of  the  Friends  of  Negro  Freedom. 

Civic  consciotisness. — He  thinks  that  if  working  Negroes  and  working  white  men 
can  be  led  to  regard  one  another  as  workingmen  interested  in  the  same  cause  the 
color  question  will  be  forgotten.  He  believes  that  prejudice  is  based  on  the  economic 
system.  With  respect  to  housing  he  thinks  a  Negro  should,  as  an  American  citizen, 
be  free  to  purchase  real  estate  wherever  he  is  able  to  make  a  purchase;  that  as  long  as 
artificial  barriers  are  set  up  there  can  be  no  successful  solution  of  the  color  question; 
that  a  man's  respect  for  the  rights  of  others  increases  in  proportion  to  his  intelligence, 
and  that  the  press  can  be  a  great  source  of  evil  or  good  in  educating  the  people. 
He  believes  that  there  should  be  clubs  and  educational  meetings  to  instruct  some  of 
the  less  refined  classes  of  Negroes  in  conduct. 


Mr.  and  Mrs.  F —  lived  in  Jackson,  Mississippi,  until  r9i7,  the  year  of  the 
migration,  when  they  moved  to  Chicago.  He  followed  his  clientele  and  established 
an  office  on  State  Street  near  Thirty-first  Street.  Mr.  F —  received  his  commercial 
and  legal  training  at  Jackson  College  and  Walden  University.  Mrs.  F —  is  a  graduate 
of  Rust  College  and  the  University  of  Chicago. 

Home  life. — The  F —  home  evidences  their  economic  independence.  It  contains 
ten  rooms  and  bath  and  is  kept  in  excellent  condition.  They  own  six  houses  in  the 
South,  from  which  they  receive  an  income.  Mr.  F —  is  the  president  of  an  insurance 
company  incorporated  in  Illinois  in  1918,  which  has  a  membership  of  12,000.  He 
has  also  organized  a  mercantile  company,  grocery  and  market  on  State  Street,  inc9r- 
porated  for  $10,000,  of  which  $7,000  has  been  paid. 

They  have  two  sons,  nineteen  and  twelve  years  of  age,  and  three  adult  nephews 
living  with  them.  One  nephew  is  a  painter  at  the  Stock  Yards,  another  is  a  laborer, 
and  the  third  a  shipping-clerk. 

Community  participation. — They  are  members  of  the  Baptist  church  and  of  the 
People's  Movement,  while  Mr.  F —  is  a  member  of  the  Appomattox  Club,  an  organi- 
zation of  leading  Negro  business  and  professional  men.  In  addition  to  membership 
in  three  fraternal  organizations,  they  are  interested  in  and  contribute  to  the  support 
of  the  Urban  League  and  United  Charities. 

Opinions  on  race  relations. — Concerning  housing,  Mr.  F —  feels  that  some  corpora- 
tion should  bmld  medium-sized  cottages  for  workingmen.  He  thinks  that  the  changes 
in  labor  conditions  make  it  hard  for  Negroes  to  grasp  immediately  the  northern 
industrial  methods.    Patience  will  help  toward  adjustment,  he  thinks. 

He  thinks  that  colored  women  receive  better  protection  in  Chicago  than  in  the 
South.  His  experience  in  the  courts  leads  him  to  believe  that  Negroes  have  a  fairer 
chance  here  than  in  the  South.  Agitation  by  the  press  in  his  opinion  can  have  no 
other  effect  than  to  make  conditions  worse. 



The  purpose  of  this  section  of  the  report  is  to  describe  by  a  selection  of 
types  the  physical  condition  of  houses  occupied  as  residences  by  Negroes. 
This  description  includes  the  structure,  age,  repair,  upkeep,  and  other  factors 
directly  affecting  the  appearance,  sanitation,  and  comfort  of  dwellings  available 
for  Negro  use. 

In  1909  the  Chicago  School  of  Civics  and  Philanthropy  included  Negro 
housing  in  a  series  of  general  housing  studies.  This  study  was  confined  to 
the  two  largest  areas  of  Negro  residence,  those  on  the  South  and  West  sides. 
Both  of  these  were  studied  generally,  and  in  each  a  selected  area,  of  four  blocks 
in  one  case  and  three  blocks  in  the  other,  was  studied  intensively. 

The  South  Side  area  included  parts  of  the  Second,  Third,  and  Thirteenth 
wards  between  Fifteenth  and  Fifty-fifth  streets,  with  State  Street  as  the  main 
thoroughfare.  The  four  blocks  bounded  by  Dearborn  Street,  Twenty-seventh 
Street,  Armour  Avenue,  and  Thirty-second  Street  were  intensively  studied. 
It  was  found  that  within  these  four  blocks  94  per  cent  of  the  heads  of  families 
were  Negroes.  The  buildings  were  one-  and  two-story,  with  a  considerable 
amount  of  vacant  space  in  the  lots.  Half  the  lots  had  less  than  50  per  cent 
of  their  space  covered.  The  houses  were  for  the  most  part  intended  for  single 
families  but  had  been  converted  into  two-flat  buildings.  Rooms  were  poorly 
lighted  and  ventilated,  the  sanitation  bad,  and  the  alley  and  groimds  about 
the  houses  covered  with  rubbish  and  refuse. 

Comparisons  with  other  districts  studied  showed  the  following:  Of  houses 
in  a  PoHsh  district,  71  per  cent  were  in  good  repair;  in  a  Bohemian  district, 
57  per  cent;  Stock  Yards  district,  54  per  cent;  Jewish  and  South  Chicago 
districts,  28  per  cent;  and  in  the  Negro  district,  26  per  cent.  A  study  made 
three  years  later  by  the  School  of  Civics  covering  the  same  area  showed  a 
decrease  of  16  per  cent  of  buildings  in  good  repair.  Five  buildings  had  been 
closed  by  the  Department  of  Health  as  no  longer  fit  for  habitation.  There 
were  leaks  in  the  roofs,  sinks,  and  windows  of  five-sixths  of  the  dwellings. 
In  describing  a  typical  house  in  this  area,  the  report  said: 

There  was  no  gutter  and  the  roof  leaked  in  two  places,  the  sink  drain  in  the 
basement  leaked,  keeping  it  continually  damp,  the  opening  of  the  chimney  let  the 
rain  come  down  there,  the  windowpane  in  iront  rattled  from  lack  of  putty.  The 
conditions  in  these  houses  are  typical;  almost  every  tenant  tells  of  rain  coming  in 
through  roof,  chimney  or  windows,  and  cases  of  fallen  plaster  and  windows  without 
putty  were  too  common  to  be  noted.  One  aspect  of  the  situation  that  should  not  be 
overlooked  is  the  impossibility  of  putting  these  old  houses  in  good  condition.  Leaks 
may  be  repaired,  plaster  may  be  replaced,  windows  may  be  made  tight,  and  these  things 
would  certainly  improve  most  of  the  houses,  but  when  all  were  done  it  would  not  alter 
the^fact  that  these  are  old  houses,  poorly  built,  through  which  the  wind  can  blow  at  will. 

Lack  of  repairs  to  the  houses  in  the  "Black  Belt"  is  accounted  for  by  the 
fact  that  owners  do  not  regard  the  buildings  as  worth  repairing,  and  that 




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tenants  can  always  be  found,  even  though  it  is  necessary  to  reduce  rents  some- 
what. This  reduction  is  indeed  notable.  The  School  of  Civics  found  that 
while  in  1909  50  per  cent  of  the  houses  examined  on  the  South  Side  rented 
for  as  much  as  $16  a  month,  in  1917  only  13  per  cent  could  command  as  high 
a  rental  as  that;  that  in  1909  the  prevailing  rents  were  $15  and  $16  as  against 
$10  and  $12  in  1917. 

On  the  West  Side  the  area  studied  generally  was  that  bounded  by  Lake 
Street,  Ashland,  Austin,  and  Western  avenues.  Here  the  situation  was  little 
better.  One-third  of  the  families  visited  in  the  three  selected  blocks  bounded 
by  Fulton  and  Paulina  streets,  Carroll  Avenue  and  Robey  Street  were  Negroes. 
The  remaining  two-thirds  represented  sixteen  nationalities.  It  was  reported 
that  the  white  residents  could  get  advantages  and  improvements  for  their 
houses  that  a  Negro  could  not.  While  35  per  cent  of  the  houses  were  reported 
in  good  repair,  31  per  cent  were  described  as  "absolutely  dilapidated"  and  in 
a  worse  state  of  repair  than  those  in  any  other  districts  studied  except  the  Jewish 
district.    The  report  said: 

Broken-down  doors,  xmsteady  flooring,  and  general  dilapidation  were  met  by  the 
investigators  at  every  side.  Windowpanes  were  out,  doors  hanging  on  single  Mnges 
or  entirely  fallen  off,  and  roofs  rotting  and  leaking.  Colored  tenants  reported  that 
they  found  it  impossible  to  persuade  their  landlords  either  to  make  the  necessary 
repairs  or  to  release  them  from  their  contracts;  and  that  it  was  so  hard  to  find  better 
places  in  which  to  live  that  they  were  forced  either  to  make  the  repairs  themselves, 
which  they  could  rarely  afford  to  do,  or  to  endure  the  conditions  as  best  they  might. 
Several  tenants  ascribed  cases  of  severe  and  prolonged  iUness  to  the  unhealthful  condi- 
tion of  the  houses  in  which  they  were  living. 

That  there  was  a  continuing  demand  even  for  the  shacks  and  shanties  of 
the  "  Black  Belt"  is  evidenced  in  a  report  made  by  the  Urban  League  of  Chicago 
in  191 7  that  only  one  out  of  every  thirteen  Negro  applicants  for  houses  to  rent 
could  be  supplied.  At  the  height  of  the  demand  applications  for  houses  were 
coming  in  at  the  rate  of  460  to  600  a  day,  and  only  niaety-nine  were  available 
for  renting  purposes.  This  was  due,  of  course,  to  the  growing  stream  of 
Negroes  arriving  daily  from  the  South. 

Covering  the  same  area  on  the  South  Side  as  that  studied  by  the  School 
of  Civics  in  191 7  a  canvass  was  also  made  in  1917  by  Caswell  W.  Crews,  a 
student  at  the  University  of  Chicago.  He  found  that  tenants  had  remained  in 
these  dwellings  in  some  iastances  as  long  as  twenty  years  after  their  unfitness 
had  become  evident,  because  the  rent  was  low  and  they  could  find  nowhere 
else  to  go.  He  mentioned  the  mass  of  migrants  from  the  South  who,  because 
of  their  ignorance  of  conditions  in  Chicago  as  to  what  was  desirable  and  what 
was  to  be  had  for  a  given  sum,  fell  an  easy  prey  to  unscrupulous  owners  and 
agents.    Mr.  Crew's  description  said: 

With  the  exception  of  two  or  three  the  houses  are  frame,  and  paint  with  them  is  a 
dim  reminiscence.    There  is  one  rather  modern  seven-room  flat  building  of  stone 


front,  the  flats  renting  at  $22.50  a  month  and  offering  the  best  in  the  way  of  accom- 
modations to  be  found  there.  There  is  another  makeshift  flat  building  situated  above 
a  saloon  and  pool  hall,  consisting  of  six  six-room  flats,  renting  at  $12  per  month,  but 
in  a  very  poor  condition  of  repair.  Toilets  and  baths  were  found  to  be  in  no  condition 
for  use  and  the  plumbing  in  such  a  state  as  to  constantly  menace  health.  Practically 
all  of  the  houses  have  been  so  reconstructed  as  to  serve  as  flats,  accommodating  two 
and  sometimes  three  families.  As  a  rule  there  are  four,  five,  and  sometimes  six  rooms 
in  each  flat,  there  being  but  five  instances  when  there  were  more  than  six.  It  is  often 
the  case  that  of  these  rooms  not  aU  can  be  used  because  of  dampness,  leaking  roofs, 
or  defective  toUets  overhead. 

The  owners  are  in  most  instances  scarcely  better  off  than  their  tenants  and  can 
ill  afford  to  make  repairs.  One  house  in  the  rear  of  another  on  Federal  Street  near 
Twenty-seventh  had  every  door  off  its  hinges,  water  covering  the  floor  from  a  defective 
sink,  and  windowpanes  out.  A  cleaning  of  the  house  had  been  attempted,  and  the 
cleaners  had  torn  loose  what  paper  yielded  readily  and  proceeded  to  whitewash  over 
the  adhering  portion  which  constituted  the  majority  of  the  paper.  There  were 
four  such  rooms  and  for  them  the  family  paid  $7  a  month. 

In  1920  a  cursory  examination  by  investigators  from  the  Commission 
showed  that  the  only  change  in  the  situation  was  further  deterioration  in  the 
physical  state  of  the  dwellings. 

The  movement  of  the  Negro  population  across  State  Street  eastward  into 
the  area  once  occupied  by  wealthy  whites  began  as  early  as  1910.  Wabash 
Avenue  was  the  first  street  into  which  they  moved.  Gradually  they  scattered 
farther  east  toward  Lake  Michigan.  Following  the  migration  from  the 
South  the  Negro  area  east  of  State  Street  expanded  to  the  lake  and  pushed 
southward.  The  houses  which  they  found  in  the  new  territory,  although 
from  twenty  to  forty  years  old,  were  a  vast  improvement  over  those  they  had 
left  west  of  State  Street.  These  houses  do  not  permit  of  any  general  classifica- 
tion, for  some  are  very  bad  while  others,  though  not  new,  are  in  a  state  of  good 
repair,  largely  according  to  the  care  taken  by  previous  occupants.  Along  with 
descriptions  of  Negro  homes  must  be  considered  the  tendency  among  those 
Negroes  who  were  able  to  move  away  from  the  congested  areas  of  Negro 
residence.  Some  of  the  best  houses  occupied  by  Negroes  in  1920  were  in 
districts  imtil  recently  wholly  white. 

A  rough  classification  of  Negro  housing  according  to  types,  ranging  from 
the  best,  designated  as  "Type  A,"  to  the  poorest,  designated  as  "Type  D," 
was  made  by  the  Commission  on  the  basis  of  a  block  survey  comprising  238 
blocks,  covering  all  the  main  areas  of  Negro  residence,  and  data  concerning 
274  families,  scattered  through  these  238  blocks,  one  or  two  to  a  block,  whose 
histories  and  housing  experiences  were  intensively  studied  by  the  Commission's 
investigators.  Approxunately  5  per  cent  of  Chicago's  Negro  population  Uve 
in  "Type  A"  houses,  10  per  cent  in  "Type  B,"  40  per  cent  in  "Type  C,"  and 
45  per  cent  in  the  poorest,  "Type  D." 


I.    "type  a"  houses 

Type  A  houses,  with  those  of  the  other  types,  were  not  concentrated 
wholly  in  any  one  section  but  were  found  widely  scattered;  there  were  none, 
however,  in  the  areas  which  in  1910  held  practically  the  whole  Negro  popula- 
tion. Examples  of  Type  A  were  found  on  South  Park  Avenue  between 
Thirty-third  and  Thirty-fifth  streets,  where  some  Negroes  had  Uved  for  six 
years;  on  Grand  Boulevard  between  Thirty-fifth  and  Thirty-eighth  streets, 
where  a  few  had  lived  for  three  years;  on  Champlain,  Evans,  Vincennes, 
and  Langley  avenues,  between  Forty-third  and  Forty-seventh  streets,  where 
some  Negroes  had  Uved  four  and  five  years;  and  on  Wabash  Avenue  between 
Fifty-first  and  Fifty-third  streets.  In  Woodlawn  there  are  a  few  of  recent 
occupancy,  one  of  which  was  buUt  by  its  Negro  owner. 

Most  of  the  Type  A  dwellings  are  of  substantial  construction,  principally 
of  brick  and  stone.  Some  are  old  family  residences  in  formerly  high-class 
neighborhoods,  built  to  withstand  the  test  of  years.  Consequently,  although 
they  have  been  subject  to  the  usual  deterioration,  they  still  afford  a  fairly 
high  standard  of  comfort  and  convenience.  Some  are  large  and  exceptionally 
well  equipped  with  luxurious  fittings  and  adornments  installed  by  former 
owners.  Most  of  these  houses  were  built  and  owned  by  people  of  wealth  who 
abandoned  them.  Many  of  them  have  since  passed  through  several  stages 
of  occupancy.  Somewhat  less  permanent  in  their  physical  aspects  perhaps 
are  the  Type  A  houses  in  Woodlawn.  Many  of  the  houses  in  this  district  are 
of  frame  structure,  and  they  are  not  as  commodious  as  those  in  the  formerly 
fashionable  white  districts.  But  they  provide  a  desirable  measure  of  comfort, 
with  less  waste  space  and  superfluous  rooms. 

Comforts  and  conveniences. — ^Type  A  dwelUngs  are  fitted  with  all  the 
conveniences  required  by  well-to-do  whites.  Some  of  them  have  more  than 
the  customary  one  bathroom,  have  electricity  and  gas,  and  are  well  heated 
by  steam  or  hot-air  furnaces.  One  example  of  Type  A  housing  is  a  three-story, 
stone-front,  ten-room  house  on  South  Park  Avenue  owned  and  occupied  by 
a  lawyer  and  his  family.  There  is  a  garage,  and  the  place  is  kept  in  good 
condition.  A  twelve-room  house,  also  on  South  Park  Avenue,  owned  and 
occupied  by  a  physician  and  his  family,  has  two  bathrooms,  steam  heat,  and 
electricity,  and  is  in  excellent  repair.  Another  physician  on  the  same  street 
owns  a  three-story  brown-stone  house,  with  a  garage.  It  contains  ten  rooms 
and  two  bathrooms,  has  steam  heat  and  electric  lights,  and  is  in  good  condition. 
For  this  property  he  paid  $35,000.  A  three-story  brick  house  on  Vernon 
Avenue  is  owned  and  occupied  by  a  business  man.  In  addition  to  other  modem 
conveniences  there  are  lavatories  in  four  of  the  bedrooms.  The  house  is  in 
excellent  condition.  A  nine-room  house  on  Langley  Avenue,  in  good  repair, 
owned  by  another  busitiess  man,  has  gas,  furnace  heat,  and  a  bathroom. , 

The  occupants. — ^Although  these  buildings  are  occupied  by  the  wealthier 
Negroes,  business  or  professional  men,  it  often  happens  that  others  secure  and 


occupy  such  houses.  High  wages  during  the  war  and  immediately  afterward 
permitted  some  Negroes  who  arrived  in  Chicago  during  the  migration  to  live 
iu  the  best  class  of  housing  available  for  Negroes.  For  example,  an  undertaker 
owns  such  a  house  on  Langley  Avenue,  with  seven  rooms,  with  gas,  a  bathroom, 
electricity,  and  hot-water  heat.  This  building  is  ornate  and  in  excellent 
repair.  A  postal  clerk  who  has  been  in  Chicago  since  1897  owns  a  seven-room 
house  on  Champlain  Avenue  south  of  Sixty-sixth  Street,  where  he  Uves  with 
his  wife  and  child.  In  the  block  south  of  Forty-third  Street  on  Prairie  Avenue 
is  a  nine-room  house  occupied  by  an  employee  of  the  American  Ejqjress  Com- 
pany. In  order  to  help  pay  the  rent,  four  lodgers  are  taken,  who  together 
pay  $20  a  week.  The  house,  which  includes  a  bathroom,  is  furnace-heated 
and  lighted  by  electricity.  A  transfer  man  pays  $65  a  month  rent  for  an 
eight-room  house  of  this  class  on  Bowen  Avenue.  He  earns  $35  a  week,  and 
two  lodgers  pay  $50  a  month.  The  house  has  bath,  electricity,  and  furnace. 
A  railroad  porter,  who  has  been  a  doctor's  assistant  and  has  lived  in  Chicago 
since  1886,  owns  a  house  on  Rhodes  Avenue  near  Sixty-sixth  Street.  It  has 
seven  rooms  and  is  provided  with  a  furnace,  gas,  bathroom,  and  electricity. 

Neighborhood  conditions. — Surroundings  of  Type  A  houses  are  generally 
far  more  pleasant  than  those  in  areas  where  the  majority  of  Negroes  live. 
The  streets  and  alleys  are  usually  clean,  except  where  Type  A  houses  are 
in  neighborhoods  surrounded  by  poorer  houses.  The  premises  are  generally 
well  kept.  This  is  especially  true  where  the  occupants  are  owners.  When 
space  permits,  there  is  a  lawn  or  a  garden  that  shows  signs  of  pride  and  atten- 
tion. One  block  was  noted,  however,  where  the  residents  reported  that  the 
street  was  watered  twice  a  day  vmtil  Negroes  moved  in,  after  which  it  received 
no  such  attention. 

n.    "type  b"  houses 

Type  B  designates  a  class  of  houses  which  have  not  the  size,  diurabihty, 
permanence,  architectural  embellishments,  or  general  standard  of  comfort 
and  convenience  of  those  classed  as  Type  A.  They  are  usually  flat  buildings, 
whether  originally  intended  for  that  purpose  or  not.  Frequently  dwellings 
are  rearranged  by  landlords,  when  Negroes  are  given  occupancy,  to  accommodate 
two  or  more  famihes  in  place  of  the  one  for  which  they  were  built.  Type  B 
houses  have  less  floor  space,  the  average  number  of  rooms  is  fewer,  and  they 
have,  as  a  rule,  fewer  modem  conveniences.  Still,  they  are  good  houses  and 
much  superior  to  the  habitations  in  which  Negroes  are  most  often  found. 

Occupants  of  Type  B  houses  are  frequentiy  found  to  be  clerical  workers, 
postal  clerks,  railway  mail  clerks,  small  tradesmen,  artisans,  and  better-paid 
workers  in  steel  miUs  and  Stock  Yards. 

Most  of  the  houses  in  the  part  of  Woodlawn  inhabited  by  Negroes  are  of 
Type  B.  Another  district  in  which  this  type  of  house  is  found  extends  from 
Fortieth  to  Forty-seventh  streets  on  Langley,  Evans,  Champlain,  Vincennes, 
and  St.  Lawrence  avenues.    Although  in  this  area  a  few  dwellings  are  of 

Classified  in  text  as  "Type  A" 




Type  A,  the  greater  part  of  them  fall  under  Type  B.  About  5  per  cent  of  the 
dwellings  occupied  by  Negroes  on  the  West  Side — for  example,  some  of  those 
on  Oakley  and  Washington  boulevards — might  also  be  classed  as  Type  B. 
Brick  or  stone  dwellings  predominate  in  the  districts  where  this  type  is  found. 
For  example,  the  block  survey  made  by  the  Commission  covered  twelve  blocks 
in  the  Negro  residence  in  Woodlawn  on  which  there  were  190  brick  or  stone 
and  119  frame  houses.  Practically  all  the  Type  B  dwellings  are  one-  and 
two-family  houses,  and  the  majority  are  two-family  houses.  The  Com- 
mission's study  shows  that  these  dwellings  are  not  overcrowded  and  house 
their  families  comfortably.    Many  of  the  occupants  own  their  homes. 

Comforts  and  conveniences. — Most  of  these  houses  have  baths,  electric 
lights,  steam,  hot-water  or  hot-air  heating,  and  gas  for  cooking.  Only  a  few 
are  heated  by  stoves  or  lack  electrical  fixtures.  They  were  foimd  to  be  in 
good  repair,  well  kept  and  clean.  Special  pride  is  taken  by  home  owners 
of  this  class  in  keeping  the  property  presentable  and  preventing  rapid  deteriora- 
tion. Family  histories  reveal  that  most  of  the  Woodlawn  residents  are  long- 
time residents  of  Chicago. 

Neighborhood  conditions. — In  the  neighborhoods  where  T5^e  B  houses 
were  f oimd,  no  uniform  standard  of  cleanliness  was  evident  in  streets  and  alleys 
or  in  adjoining  properties.  They  were  as  frequently  unkempt  as  tidy. 
Although  the  premises  of  Type  B  houses  were  generally  kept  neat,  surrounding 
untidiness  often  detracted  from  their  appearance.  But  a  block  containing 
a  majority  of  this  type  usually  had  an  appearance  of  being  better  kept,  whether 
the  surrounding  property  was  occupied  by  whites  or  Negroes.  In  the  Wood- 
lawn area  the  surroundings  of  the  houses  were  well  cared  for,  and  sanitary 
measures  were  commonly  observed.  In  some  blocks  in  the  Langley  Avenue 
neighborhood  carelessness  and  neglect  were  evident.  Vacant  lots  were  no 
more  littered  with  rubbish  than  in  white  areas  of  a  similar  grade. 

in.    "type  c"  houses 

Type  C  houses  are  the  most  common  in  areas  of  Negro  residence.  In 
this  classification  are  included  about  50  per  cent  of  the  houses  on  the  South 
Side  east  of  State  Street,  most  of  those  in  the  North  Side  area,  about  60  per 
cent  of  those  in  the  West  Side  area,  practically  aU  those  in  the  Ogden  Park 
area,  and  many  dwellings  in  the  little  Lake  Park  district. 

Heads  of  famUies  occupying  Type  C  houses  were  usually  unskilled  wage- 
earners,  or  in  personal  service.  Their  incomes  were  such  that  they  could  rarely 
afford  more  than  $20  a  month  rent. 

Types  of  houses. — Eleven  blocks  on  the  North  Side  were  included  in  the 
Commission's  block  survey.  In  these  blocks  146  of  the  buildings  were  of 
brick  or  stone,  and  123  frame.  Fifteen  were  single  houses,  four  were  double, 
and  167  housed  three  or  more  families,  the  largest  proportion  of  such  buildings 
in  any  district  examined.    There  were  also  four  rows  of  houses.    They  were 


in  a  fair  state  of  repair.  Four-room  houses  or  flats  predominated  among  the 
fourteen  families  whose  histories  were  taken.  In  one  instance  seven  persons 
were  Uving  in  four  rooms,  in  another  nine  persons  were  living  in  seven  rooms, 
in  another  eleven  persons  were  living  in  seven  rooms.  The  dwellings  were 
mainly  one-  and  two-story  buildings,  with  a  few  three-  and  six-flat  buildings. 

A  large  proportion  of  buildings  housing  three  or  more  families  was  foimd 
also  in  Ogden  Park.  In  eleven  blocks  there  were  109  such  buildings.  There 
were  also  sixty-eight  single  and  no  double  houses.  The  frame  buildings 
numbered  189,  and  brick  or  stone  forty-eight.  Most  of  the  houses  were  one- 
and  two-story  frame  buildings.  The  majority  were  in  good  or  fair  repair, 
though  one  block  showed  gross  neglect  of  repairs  to  exteriors,  and  practically 
all  needed  paintiag.  Five-room  dwellings  predominated  among  the  fifteen 
families  whose  histories  were  recorded.  Overcrowding  was  frequent.  In 
one  instance  eleven  persons  lived  in  five  roonis;  in  another  nine  persons  in 
five  rooms. 

In  the  part  of  the  South  Side  area  east  of  State  Street  and  between  Twenty- 
second  and  Thirty-first  streets  forty-two  blocks  were  surveyed.  Michigan, 
Indiana,  and  Prairie  avenues  have  excellent  dwellings,  practically  aU  of  which 
are  stiU  occupied  by  whites.  Until  a  few  years  ago  these  were  fashionable 
residential  streets,  and  the  buildings  are  large,  well  buUt,  and  often  ornate. 
Surrounding  them,  however,  are  hundreds  of  houses,  old  and  difficult  to  keep 
in  repair.  In  these  forty-two  blocks  there  were  767  buildings  of  which  163 
were  frame  and  604  brick.    About  37  per  cent  of  these  are  of  Type  C. 

The  surroundings  of  these  buildings  appear  in  brief  comments  on  some  of 
these  blocks,  taken  from  investigator's  notes,  as  follows: 

Property  has  been  allowed  to  run  down. 

Five  vacant  houses ;  yards  full  of  rubbish ;  lodgers  transient ;  families  do  not  move. 
Vacant  lot  dirty. 

Two  vacant  lots;  yards  well  kept. 
Garbage  piled  up  on  vacant  lot;  Negroes  moving  in. 
Roomers  move  often;  one  poolroom;  empty  church  building. 
Vacant  lot  used  as  diunp;  yards  well  kept. 
Two  vacant  houses  robbed  of  plumbing  fixtures. 

Yards  poorly  kept;  whites  moved  out  three  years  ago,  except  one  family. 
Vacant  lot  used  as  dump;  one  poolroom,  two  hotels;  yards  well  kept;  Negroes 
moving  in. 

Yards  tmkempt;  mostly  renters. 

Formerly  questionable  houses  for  whites. 

Mostly  newcomers;  property  run  down. 

Yards  well  kept;  boarding-houses. 

People  move  in  because  they  can't  find  anything  better. 

Between  Thirty-first  and  Thirty-ninth  streets  east  of  State  Street  seventy- 
eight  blocks  were  surveyed.  There  were  seventy-eight  frame  and  1,523  brick 
and  stone  buildings,  620  single  houses,  559  double,  254  accommodating  three 


or  more  families,  and  nine  apartment  houses.  Of  this  group  51  per  cent  were 
of  Type  C.  The  property  and  general  surroundings  showed  age  and  the 
beginning  of  rapid  deterioration  everywhere;  in  some  cases  there  had  been 
attempts  to  care  for  the  premises  and  iu  some  cases  neglect  was  obvious. 
The  streets,  except  Michigan  Avenue  and  South  Park  Boulevard,  showed 
much  neglect,  and  the  alleys  generally  were  dirty.  Many  of  these  houses 
were  occupied  by  their  Negro  owners.  Negroes  were  found  to  occupy  about 
40  per  cent  of  these  Type  C  houses. 

Conveniences. — In  these  two  parts  of  the  South  Side  area  conveniences 
and  ordinary  sanitary  facilities  are  often  absent.  Gas  is  the  common  form  of 
Ughting,  and  often  it  is  not  used.  Family-history  data  revealed  that  there 
were  about  as  many  homes  without  as  with  bathrooms.  In  a  large  niunber  of 
buildings  families  were  obliged  to  use  common  toilets  located  in  halls  or  back 
yards.  The  dwellings  were  out  of  repair  in  some  respects  in  nearly  every 
instance.  Defects  of  this  kind  were  often  in  the  plumbing.  Leaky  toilets 
or  water  pipes  were  common  complaints.  Some  toilets  did  not  flush.  Some 
sinks  were  leaky,  as  were  some  of  the  roofs.  In  some  houses  windows  or  doors 
were  broken,  loose,  or  sagging.    Some  houses  were  very  dirty. 

On  the  West  Side  a  situation  not  essentially  different  was  found  among 
the  Type  C  dwellings.  Possibly  baths  were  a  little  more  frequent.  Occasion- 
ally there  was  a  furnace,  though  stove  heat  was  most  common.  Gas  was  the 
usual  means  of  lighting.  The  situation  as  to  toilets  was  about  the  same,  and 
the  buildings,  being  chiefly  old,  were  usually  out  of  repair  in  some  respect. 
The  nmnber  of  brick  and  frame  dwellings  was  about  equal.  There  were  more 
double  houses  in  proportion  to  the  single  ones,  and  none  that  had  three  or 
more  families.  Five-room  dwellings  were  most  numerous,  and  there  was 
little  indication  of  overcrowding. 

Neighborhood  conditions. — Only  two  blocks  in  the  West  Side  area  were 
rated  as  merely  "fair,"  four  in  the  North  Side  area  were  dirty,  while  only  one 
in  the  Ogden  Park  area  was  not  cleaned.  In  the  North  Side  and  Ogden  Park 
areas  distinct  efforts  were  observed  to  keep  yards  dean.  Premises  showed 
signs  of  care  and  attention,  though  an  occasional  vacant  lot  showed  use  for 
dumping.  AUeys  in  all  three  districts  gave  evidence  of  neglect.  Some  were 
badly  littered  with  garbage  and  rubbish. 

IV.    "type  d"  houses 

Type  D  housing  is  the  least  habitable  of  all.  The  houses  were  usually 
dilapidated,  and  in  many  cases  extremely  so.  Most  of  the  buildings  are 
among  the  oldest  in  the  city.  They  were  occupied  only  by  Negroes  at  the  foot 
of  the  economic  scale,  many  families  living  from  hand  to  mouth,  frequently  in 
extreme  poverty. 

This  class  of  houses  predominates  in  those  parts  of  the  South  Side  area 
from  Twelfth  to  Twenty-second  Street  along  State  Street  and  Wabash  Avenue, 


and  from  TweKth  to  Thirty-ninth  streets  and  Wentworth  Avenue.  Many 
Negro  dwellings  in  the  North  Side  area  and  about  35  or  40  per  cent  of  those  in 
the  West  Side  area  were  of  Type  D.  Even  in  the  area  of  the  South  Side 
between  State  Street  and  Lake  Michigan  many  of  the  older  frame  and  brick 
buildings  fall  into  this  classification.  It  is  safe  to  say  that  43  per  cent  of  the 
housing  for  Negroes  is  of  this  type. 

Most  of  these  dwellings  were  frail,  flimsy,  tottering,  imkempt,  and  some 
of  them  literally  falling  apart.  Little  repairing  is  done  from  year  to  year. 
Consequently  their  state  grows  progressively  worse,  and  they  are  now  even 
less  habitable  than  when  the  surveys  quoted  at  the  beginning  of  this  section 
were  made.  The  surroundings  in  these  localities  were  in  a  condition  of  extreme 
neglect,  with  Uttle  apparent  effort  to  observe  the  laws  of  sanitation.  Streets, 
alleys,  and  vacant  lots  contained  garbage,  rubbish,  and  litter  of  all  kinds. 
It  is  difficult  to  enforce  health  regulations. 

Although  there  has  been  protest  by  Negroes  against  the  necessity  of  living 
in  places  so  uncomfortable  and  unhealthful,  improvement  comes  slowly. 
Contentment  with  such  insanitary  conditions  is  usually  due  to  ignorance  of 
better  liviag.  For  the  poorest  buildrags  low  rents  are  offered  to  encourage 
continued  occupancy  and  to  forestall  requests  for  repairs.  Prompt  vacating 
of  many  of  these  houses  usually  follows  when  a  family  can  secure  better  accom- 
modations in  a  better  neighborhood.^ 


Among  the  more  intelligent  Negroes  neighborhood  organizations  were 
found  similar  to  those  of  white  people.  Dissatisfaction  with  local  conditions, 
failure  of  authorities  to  sweep  and  sprinkle  streets  or  to  provide  adequate 
street  Ughting,  corner  signs,  and  similar  equipment  usually  prompt  these 
efforts.  Three  or  four  such  societies  have  been  instituted  by  Negroes  in 
Chicago.  One  example  is  the  Middlesex  Improvement  Club,  organized 
following  the  riots  of  1919  in  a  neighborhood  including  three  blocks  on  Dearborn 
Street  near  Fiftieth.  Among  other  things  it  seeks  to  promote  a  friendly 
spirit  among  the  people  of  both  races  in  a  neighborhood  which  was  turbulent 
during  the  riots.  It  has  extended  some  financial  aid  to  its  members  when 
required.  It  is  financed  by  Negro  business  men  with  some  help  from  white 
business  men  of  the  locality. 

Woodlawn  has  a  community  organization  which  reflects  the  friendly 
attitude  between  the  races  in  that  district.  Both  whites  and  Negroes  are 
members,  with  a  common  community  interest.  This  organization  goes 
somewhat  beyond  the  usual  neighborhood  improvement  association  in  scope 
and  purpose.  While  it  embodies  the  usual  purposes,  it  also  seeks  to  induce 
full  use  by  all  the  people  of  the  district  of  all  public  and  semi-public  institutions 
that  contribute  to  good  citizenship.    One  of  the  notices  sent  out  by  the  associa- 

'  See  "Family  Histories,"  p.  170. 


tion  urged  attendance  at  night  sessions  of  public  schools.  It  briefly  set  forth 
the  advantages  for  both  young  and  older  people,  suggesting  that  their  useful- 
ness to  the  community  might  thus  be  enlarged,  that  they  might  be  trained 
for  profitable  employment,  and  incidentally  that  young  people  could  be  kept 
off  the  streets  and  away  from  demoralizing  places.  Attention  was  drawn  to 
the  fact  that  "business  men  of  the  city  are  seeking  young  people,  both  col- 
ored and  white,  for  positions  as  stenographers,  clerks,  and  trades  people." 
The  notice  closed  thus: 

We  are  desirous  that  you  use  your  influence  to  maintain  a  spirit  of  friendliness 
and  good  wiU  among  all  citizens,  white  and  black,  and  especially  among  the  school 
children,  paying  especial  attention  to  the  conduct  of  pupils  to  and  from  school.  We 
earnestly  seek  your  co-operation  in  these  matters. 

In  the  neighborhood  of  Fifty-skth  Street  and  Wabash  Avenue  is  another 
of  these  neighborhood  leagues;  all  the  members  are  Negroes.  Meetings 
take  place  periodically  at  the  houses  of  members,  and  special  attention  is 
given  to  such  matters  as  the  condition  of  their  premises,  care  of  lawns,  etc. 


Social  agencies  likewise  have  given  considerable  attention  to  the  instruction 
and  encouragement  of  Negroes  in  better  living.  While  this  effort  has  been 
directed  mainly  to  the  newer  arrivals  from  the  South,  it  has  also  had  an  effect 
on  many  who  have  lived  in  the  city  for  some  time  but  have  not  yet  adjusted 
themselves  to  city  life  and  more  rigid  standards  of  sanitation  and  deportment. 

One  of  these  agencies  is  the  Urban  League.  Among  other  activities  it 
issued  placards  to  be  kept  in  sight  in  Negro  homes,  graphically  contrasting  good 
and  bad  habits  of  living.  Pictures  showed  the  front  porch  of  a  Negro  family 
as  it  should  and  should  not  be  used,  with  the  pointed  question,  "Which?" 
underneath.    Then  followed  a  sort  of  pledge  of  conduct: 

/  realize  that  our  soldiers  have  learned  new  habits  of  self-respect  and  cleanliness. 

I  desire  to  help  bring  about  a  new  order  of  living  in  this  community. 

/  will  attend  to  the  neatness  of  my  personal  appearance  on  the  street  or  when 
sitting  in  front  doorways. 

/  will  refrain  from  wearing  dust  caps,  bungalow  aprons,  house  clothing,  and 
bedroom  shoes  out  of  doors. 

/  will  arrange  my  toilet  within  doors  and  not  on  the  front  porch. 

/  will  insist  upon  the  use  of  rear  entrances  for  coal  dealers,  hucksters,  etc. 

I  will  refrain  from  loud  talking  and  objectionable  deportment  on  street  cars  and 
in  public  places. 

/  wUl  do  -my  best  to  prevent  defacement  of  property  either  by  children  or  adults. 

The  guidance  and  instruction  given  by  the  South  Side  Commimity  Service, 
pastors  of  churches  and  Negro  newspapers  have  stimulated  the  Negro  popula- 
tion to  efforts  at  improvement  of  their  property.  One  newspaper,  for  example, 
conducted  a  column  containing  hints  on  cleanliness,  sanitation,  and  deport- 
ment.   It  printed  items  concerning  objectionable  conditions  at  given  addresses 


and  warned  offenders  that  they  were  being  watched  by  the  neighborhood 
organization,  which  might  take  action  against  them  if  they  did  not  improve 
their  conduct. 

Another  way  in  which  Negroes  have  been  led  to  understand  that  habits 
of  orderliness  and  cleanliness  are  expected  of  them  in  Chicago  has  been  through 
a  "  Clean-up  Week  "  in  the  spring  of  each  year,  when  concerted  efforts  are  made 
to  coUect  and  dispose  of  tin  cans  and  other  rubbish  on  vacant  lots  and  yards. 
A  "Tin  Can  Contest"  was  conducted  by  the  Wabash  Avenue  Y.M.C.A., 
which  offered  prizes  to  the  children  collecting  the  greatest  number  of  tin  cans 
beyond  300.  The  1,000  youngsters  who  participated  in  the  Second  Ward 
were  divided  into  eight  regiments.  The  eleven-year-old  Negro  girl  who  collected 
the  greatest  number  of  tin  cans  had  a  total  of  6,840  to  her  credit.  Next  in 
order  was  Hyman  Friedman,  whose  total  was  5,347.  More  than  100,000  tin 
cans  in  aU  were  obtained. 


Individual  householders,  especially  those  owning  their  homes,  were  found 
to  be  trying  to  keep  their  premises  presentable  often  in  the  face  of  discouraging 
odds.  Throughout  the  fanuly  histories  appear  repeated  protests  by  tenants  at 
the  failure  of  landlords  to  maintain  a  decent  state  of  repairs  and  improvements. 

None  of  the  houses  occupied  by  Negroes  are  of  as  high  a  standard,  generally 
speaking,  as  those  occupied  by  whites  of  a  similar  economic  status. 

Negroes  rarely  live  in  new  houses.  Virtually  all  live  in  neighborhoods 
where  the  housing  is  old.  Negro  houses,  even  of  the  best  class,  were  built 
from  twenty  to  forty  years  ago.  Conditions  in  these  old  neighborhoods  do 
not  make  for  high  standards  of  sanitation  and  cleanliness,  nor  the  best  habits 
of  living  generally;  and  Negroes  labor  under  a  handicap  in  striving  to  attain 
such  standards. 

Less  attention  is  paid  by  public  authorities  to  the  condition  of  streets 
and  alleys  in  such  neighborhoods  than  in  localities  where  the  housing  is  of  a 
higher  grade.  The  streets  are  not  cleaned  and  sprinkled  as  often  and  the 
alleys  are  more  likely  to  be  dirty,  unpaved,  and  generally  uncared  for. 

In  most  of  the  localities  where  Negroes  live,  buildings  that  have  not 
already  reached  a  state  of  great  dilapidation  are  deteriorating  rapidly  because 
of  the  failure  of  owners  to  make  repairs  and  improvements. 

Escape  from  undesirable  housing  conditions  is  difficult  for  any  Negroes, 
and  for  the  vast  majority  it  is  practically  impossible,  particularly  during  a 
period  of  acute  general  housing  shortage. 

No  single  factor  has  complicated  the  relations  of  Negroes  and  whites  in 
Chicago  more  than  the  widespread  feeling  of  white  people  that  the  presence 
of  Negroes  in  a  neighborhood  is  a  cause  of  serious  depreciation  of  property 














values.  To  the  extent  that  people  feel  that  their  financial  interests  are  affected, 
antagonisms  are  accentuated. 

When  a  Negro  family  moves  into  a  block  in  which  all  other  families  are 
white,  the  neighbors  object.  This  objection  may  express  itself  in  studied 
aloofness,  in  taunts,  warnings,  slurs,  threats,  or  even  the  bombing  of  their 
homes.'  White  neighbors  who  can  do  so  are  likely  to  move  away  at  the  first 
opportunity.  Assessors  and  appraisers  in  determining  the  value  of  the  property 
take  account  of  this  general  dislike  of  the  presence  or  proximity  of  Negroes. 
It  matters  little  what  type  of  citizens  the  Negro  family  may  represent,  what 
their  wealth  or  standing  in  the  community  is,  or  that  their  motive  in  moving 
into  a  predominant  white  neighborhood  is  to  secure  better  living  conditions — 
their  appearance  is  a  signal  of  depreciation.  So  it  happens  that  when  a  Negro 
family  moves  into  a  block,  most  of  the  white  neighbors  show  resentment 
toward  both  the  Negro  family  and  the  owner  or  agent  who  rents  or  seUs  the 
property.  Whites  owning  homes  in  the  neighborhood  become  much  exercised 
by  fear  of  loss  both  of  money  and  of  neighborhood  exclusiveness  and  desira- 
bility. The  Negro  suffers  under  the  realization  that,  for  reasons  which  he 
cannot  control,  he  is  considered  undesirable  and  a  menace  to  property  values. 
Wherever  Negroes  have  moved  in  Chicago  this  odium  has  attached  to  their 
presence.  The  belief  that  they  destroy  property  values  wherever  they  go  is 
now  commonly  taken  as  a  vahd  explanation  of  any  unfriendliness  toward  the 
entire  group.  This  feeling  takes  on  the  strength  of  a  protective  instinct 
among  the  whites. 

So  wide  and  menacing,  indeed,  has  this  feeUng  grown  that  the  Commission 
deemed  it  necessary  to  make  a  thorough  inquiry  into  its  basis  and  to  determine, 
if  possible,  to  what  degree  the  presence  of  Negroes  is  a  factor  in  the  depreciation 
of  property  values.  Therefore  it  is  essential  to  distinguish  clearly  between: 
(i)  general  factors  in  depreciation;  and  (2)  presence  of  Negroes  as  an  influence 
in  these  factors,  and  also  as  a  direct  factor. 

What  is  meant  by  "depredation"  ?  Real  estate  men  know  it  as  "a  loss 
in  market  value."  Market  value  is  "the  price  which  a  buyer  who  wishes  to 
buy  but  is  not  forced  to  buy  will  pay  to  an  owner  who  wishes  to  sell  but  is  not 
forced  to  sell."  Depreciation  is  reflected,  not  only  in  market  values,  but  also 
in  appraised  or  assessed  valuations.  Before  purchasing  property  it  is  custom- 
ary to  take  into  account  the  surrounding  conditions  that  affect  its  value,  as 
well  as  its  inherent  value.  Assessed  valuations,  fixed  for  taxing  purposes  by 
authorized  public  officials,  fluctuate  to  some  extent  in  harmony  with  appraised 
valuations.  This  analysis  of  the  factors  that  tend  to  determine  the  value 
of  real  estate  for  one  purpose  or  another  gives  a  fairly  dependable  rule  for 
finding  whether  it  has  risen  or  fallen  in  a  given  period.  If  property  is  thus 
shown  to  have  decreased  in  value,  it  is  said  to  have  depreciated. 

'  See  discussion  of  non-adjusted  neighborhoods,  p.  113,  and  of  bombings,  p.  122. 


The  value  of  real  estate  is  deteraiined  largely  by  the  human  factors  involved. 
This  fact  accoimts  for  the  striking  differences  in  value  of  property,  for  example, 
on  Sixteenth  Street,  on  State  Street,  in  the  "Loop,"  on  Chicago  Avenue,  and 
on  Sheridan  Road.  Convenience,  desirabiUty,  and  other  factors  involving 
individuals  who  make  up  the  public  enter  into  the  determination  of  realty  values. 

It  is  necessary  to  distinguish  between  land  values  and  improved-property 
values.  Usually  buUdings  are  erected  that  harmonize  in  cost  with  the  value 
of  the  land  on  which  they  stand.  But  this  harmonious  relationship  may  not 
continue;  developments  in  the  neighborhood  may  increase  materially  the 
value  of  the  land,  while  the  value  of  the  improvements  decreases  as  time  goes 
on.  The  values  of  the  land  and  of  the  improvements  do  not  necessarily  rise 
and  faU  together,  though  improvements  generally  tend  to  add  to  the  value 
of  the  land.  Much,  however,  depends  on  the  use  to  which  the  land  is  put, 
and  even  more  on  the  use  of  adjacent  land.  That  use  may  be  such  as  seriously 
to  impair  the  value  of  all  the  land  within  a  given  area  or  some  particular  tract 
in  that  area.  Such  impairment  is  a  chief  reason  advanced  for  zoning,  so  that 
property  values  in  various  given  districts  may  not  be  impaired  through  inhar- 
monious uses,  and  that  property  values  throughout  a  city  may  thus  be  stabilized) 

It  is  also  necessary  to  distinguish  between  "deterioration"  and  "deprecia- 
tion." They  are  not  interchangeable.  Deterioration  of  improvements  on 
land  affects  the  value  of  the  improvement,  not  necessarily  the  value  of  the  land. 
The  property  as  a  whole  may  be  depreciated  by  deterioration  of  improvements, 
but  an  increase  in  the  land  value  might  more  than  offset  this  loss.  This  would 
be  accounted  for  by  a  possible  change  in  the  use  of  the  land.  For  example, 
the  buildings  on  the  North  Side  ia  which  Negroes  now  live  are  uniformly 
old  and  bad,  yet  the  Negroes  cannot  buy  them.  The  properties  are  in  process, 
of  change  from  residence  to  industrial  use,  and  the  values  placed  upon  them 
for  the  latter  use  are  far  beyond  the  financial  capacity  of  the  Negro  residents. 


Apart  from  any  racial  influence  there  are  many  causes  of  depreciation  in 
property  values,  the  responsibility  for  all  of  which  has  often  been  thoughtlessly 
placed  upon  Negroes.  Throughout  the  city  may  be  observed  blocks,  streets, 
and  neighborhoods  running  a  declining  course  in  desirabihty  for  residence 
purposes,  losing  value,  changing  in  character  and,  in  short,  depreciating,  but 
in  or  near  which  no  Negroes  Hve.  The  following  are  important  factors  of 
depreciation  not  due  to  race: 

Physical  deterioration. — ^The  natural  wear  of  time  and  the  elements  is  a 
constant  factor.  Few  houses  are  built  to  withstand  these  inroads  over  a  long 
course  of  years,  even  though  they  have  the  utmost  care.  Neglect  and  lack 
of  repairs  and  improvements  hasten  this  deterioration  sometimes  greatly. 
Character  of  occupancy  is  often  a  factor.  Some  occupants  are  highly  destruc- 
tive, particularly  in  rented  houses.    Their  careless  or  inept  use  of  a  house 


often  adds  vastly  to  the  wear  and  tear  and  hastens  deterioration.    Over- 
crowding has  a  like  effect. 

Change  in  the  character  of  a  neighborhood. — Depreciation  in  property 
values  in  large  cities  is  due  in  marked  degree  to  factors  not  purely  physical. 
There  is  always  a  continuing  yet  varying  fluctuation  in  the  character  of  neigh- 
borhoods; a  restless  shifting  of  population  and  conditions  due  to  growth 
which  rarely  has  been  orderly  or  scientific.  The  psychological  factor  of 
residential  property  values  is  such  that  they  may  change  very  rapidly  with 
the  advent  into  a  homogeneous  neighborhood  of  a  few  families  of  a  different 
nationality  or  social  status.  Between  Twelfth  and  Thirty-first  steeets  in 
the  South  Side  Negro  residence  area,  once  the  most  fashionable  white  residence 
section,  property  values  based  on  residential  uses  slumped  utterly,  and  then 
later  began  to  increase  because  of  industrial  uses.  Such  a  change  is  often  due 
to  an  encroachment  upon  a  residential  district  of  commercial  or  industrial 
enterprises.  Neighbors  wiU  move  away  rather  than  endure  such  disturbance 
of  their  peace  and  comfort.  Their  places  may  be  taken  by  people  less  sensi- 
tive to  such  influences  who  may  be  drawn  to  the  neighborhood  by  reduced 
rents  resulting  from  the  exodus  of  former  residents.  Then  rapid  deterioration 
usually  sets  in  as  the  tone  of  the  neighborhood  falls.  A  like  result  follows  a 
change  from  an  exclusive  residential  district  into  one  of  rooming-  and  boarding- 
houses  and  large  residences  remodeled  into  flats. 

The  shifting  of  fashionable  neighborhoods  soon  leads  persons  of  means 
to  abandon  a  high-grade  residential  section  for  some  suburb  or  newer  neighbor- 
hood which  they  think  better  suited  to  their  social  positions. 

Use  of  buildings  for  immoral  purposes. — Such  use,  though  clandestine, 
eventually  becomes  known;  and  although  the  property  yields  high  rents, 
it  lowers  the  standing  and  value  of  the  block  or  neighborhood  and  of  adjacent 
areas.  It  not  only  deteriorates  the  buUdings  thus  used,  but  also  drives  decent 
people  from  the  locality;  and  the  deserted  houses  either  remain  vacant  or 
are  taken  by  less  desirable  occupants.    Depreciation  inevitably  results. 

Public  garages,  theaters,  and  kindred  nuisances. — People  of  a  high-grade 
residential  district  do  not  wish  to  live  too  near  a  public  garage,  theater,  bathing- 
beach,  saloon,  cabaret,  dance  hall,  bowling-alley,  or  billiard  room.  If  they  are 
unable  to  keep  such  enterprises  out  of  their  neighborhood  they  will  sell  their 
property  and  find  homes  elsewhere. 

Changes  in  transportation  facilities. — ^These  may  depreciate  property  in 
two  ways:  {a)  they  may  themselves  introduce  obnoxious  dirt  or  noise-making 
features  or  bring  in  industries  with  such  features;  (6)  new  transportation 
facilities  often  open  up  more  desirable  locaUties  to  which  people  are  drawn 
from  the  older  localities.    In  both  cases  depreciation  ensues. 

Overbuilding. — Overbuilding  is  another  and  frequent  cause  of  depreciation. 
Building  booms  are  often  followed  by  years  of  depression  due  to  an  oversupply 
of  buildings. 

iqS  the  negro  in  CHICAGO 


The  area  from  Thirty-first  to  Thirty-ninth  Streets  and  State  Street  to  the 
lake  is  now  the  center  of  the  largest  Negro  residential  area  in  the  city,  having 
approximately  20  per  cent  more  Negroes  than  whites. 

In  the  eighties  and  nineties  this  area  was  part  of  the  most  fashionable 
residential  district  in  Chicago  and  included  some  of  the  city's  most  prominent 
families  and  business  leaders.  They  lived  in  houses  which  they  had  built 
for  their  homes,  and  which  were  the  first  fine  residences  erected  after  the 
Chicago  fire  of  1871.  Michigan,  Prairie,  and  South  Park  avenues  and  Grand 
Boulevard  were  the  most  fashionable  streets  with  the  best  houses. 

The  Negro  population  then  lived  immediately  west,  between  Wentworth 
Avenue  and  State  Street  and  north  of  Thirty-fifth  Street. 

The  North  Side  and  the  North  Shore  had  not  yet  developed  as  fashionable 
neighborhoods.  Indeed,  the  most  prominent  residence  on  Lake  Shore  Drive 
and  one  of  the  earliest  stood  almost  alone  for  many  years  before  fashionable 
people  settled  around  it. 

As  the  North  Side  grew  in  fashionable  favor  the  South  Side  began  to  lose 
its  original  exclusiveness,  and  its  residences  began  to  depreciate.  These 
properties,  while  their  original  owners  occupied  them,  were  worth,  many  of 
them,  from  $30,000  to  $100,000,  including  large  grounds,  elaborate  interior 
decorations,  and  sometimes  works  of  art.  The  usual  range  of  the  original 
costs  of  these  houses  was  from  $10,000  to  $30,000.  The  change  steadily 
continued,  and  these  houses  were  rented  and  sold  by  the  first  owners  at  reduced 
prices  to  persons  less  prominent  socially,  until  nearly  all  the  original  families 
had  gone.  A  few  refused  to  sell  their  houses  and  left  them  in  charge  of  care- 
takers; and  a  very  few  stiU  remain. 

The  gradual  lowering  of  the  market  value  of  the  property  is  pictured  by 
prominent  real  estate  men  well  acquainted  with  the  neighborhood  for  many 

It  is  a  positive  fact,  an  economic  fact,  that  any  time  a  poor  class  of  people  moves 
into  a  neighborhood  formerly  occupied  by  people  who  had  an  earning  capacity  greater 
than  that  of  the  people  moving  in,  there  is  depreciation.  That  is  true  whether  ItaUans 
move  in,  or  Poles,  Negroes,  Greeks,  etc.  If  the  people  moving  into  the  neighbor- 
hood earn  less  and  have  less  than  the  people  formerly  living  in  that  neighborhood, 
there  is  depreciation. 

Between  1900  and  1910  a  few  Negroes  moved  into  Wabash  Avenue.  The 
houses  were  very  old  and  built  close  together,  with  few  single  residences. 
Negroes  did  not  progress  farther  eastward  in  any  large  numbers  because  the 
next  street  was  Michigan  Avenue,  probably  the  most  select  of  aU  the  streets 
in  the  area.  With  the  pressure  of  increasing  numbers  and  ascending  economic 
ability  urging  them  out  of  the  congested,  uncomfortable,  and  unclean  dwellings 
west  of  State  Street,  Negroes  could  and  would  pay  higher  rents  than  the  class 
of  white  persons  to  which  the  oldest  houses  would  next  descend.    In  191 2, 


in  the  area  east  of  State  Street,  practically  all  of  the  original  residents  had 
gone,  and  few  Negroes  had  come  in.  Real  estate  men  estimate  that  generally 
natural  depreciation  proceeds  at  the  rate  of  2  to  2I  per  cent  a  year.  When 
Negroes  first  came  into  the  area  the  buildings  were  at  least  twenty  years  old, 
and  many  were  much  older,  representing  at  the  lowest  figure  a  very  substantial 

There  was  another  important  factor  in  the  depreciation  of  the  area.  In 
191 2  the  old  vice  district  west  of  State  Street  and  immediately  northwest  of 
this  area  was  broken  up.  The  inmates  numbered  approximately  2,000  and 
were  by  no  means  confined  strictly  within  the  recognized  limits.  They  moved 
into  the  nearest  good  houses  available  where  they  could  continue  to  ply  their 
trade  clandestinely.  They  could  afford  to  pay  high  rents,  and  numbers  of  real 
estate  owners  profited  greatly  by  dealing  with  them.  As  many  of  these 
houses  stood,  they  again  yielded  rents  almost  as  high  as  when  they  were  new. 
Cabarets,  saloons,  and  amusement  places  packed  the  side  streets,  and  buffet 
flats  opened  up  in  the  residence  blocks.  Raids  and  prosecution,  night  visits 
from  men  who  did  not  live  in  the  district,  called  attention  to  the  changed 
character  of  the  neighborhood,  and  property  values  sank  lower.  Pressure  from 
prosecuting  agencies,  as  well  as  the  attraction  of  better  houses  in  less  con- 
spicuous neighborhoods,  urged  the  vice  element  southward.  This  southward 
trend  is  indicated  in  the  maps,  facing  pages  342  and  346,  showing  the  environ- 
ment of  the  South  Side  Negro. 

While  property  in  this  area  could  be  bought  cheaply  it  was  also  possible 
to  obtaia  proportionately  high  rents  by  placing  Negroes  or  prostitutes  in  houses 
not  rented  to  either  class  before.  Negroes  were  always  charged  higher  rents 
than  were  the  whites  who  immediately  preceded  them. 

The  Juvenile  Protective  Association  in  1913  made  a  study  called  The 
Colored  People  of  Chicago  and  pubhshed  it  in  a  small  pamphlet.  Concerning 
the  disposition  of  real  estate  men  to  profit  in  this  way,  the  reports  say: 

....  the  dealer  oflfers  to  the  owner  of  an  apartment  house  which  is  no  longer 
renting  advantageously  to  white  tenants  cash  payment  for  a  year's  lease  on  the 
property,  thus  guaranteeing  the  owner  against  loss,  and  then  he  fills  the  building  with 
colored  tenants.  It  is  said,  however,  that  the  agent  does  not  put  out  the  white 
tenants  unless  he  can  get  10  per  cent  more  from  the  colored  people. 

The  fact  that  for  like  quarters  Negroes  pay  much  higher  rents  than  any 
other  group  in  the  city  was  discussed  by  the  Chicago  School  of  Civics  and 
Philanthropy  in  a  special  study  of  housing  for  Negroes  in  1911-12.  The 
report  says: 

The  explanation  for  this  condition  of  affairs  among  the  colored  people  is  com- 
paratively simple;  the  results  are  far-reaching.  The  strong  prejudice  among  the 
white  people  against  having  colored  people  living  on  white  residence  streets,  colored 
children  attending  schools  with  white  children,  or  entering  into  other  semi-social  rela- 
tion with  them,  confines  the  opportunities  for  residence  open  to  colored  people  of  aU 


positions  in  life  to  relatively  small  and  weU-defined  areas.  Consequently  the  demand 
for  houses  and  apartments  within  these  areas  is  strong  and  comparatively  steady, 
and  since  the  landlord  is  reasonably  certain  that  the  house  or  apartment  can  be 
filled  at  any  time,  as  long  as  it  is  in  any  way  tenantable,  he  takes  advantage  of  his 
opportxmities  to  raise  rents  and  to  postpone  repairs. 

It  was  during  this  period  that  buildings  could  be  easily  purchased  by 
Negroes.  One  white  real  estate  dealer  whose  interests  are  almost  exclusively 
in  the  area  under  discussion  has  purchased  more  than  i,ooo  such  houses  which 
he  rents  to  Negroes.  These  buildings  were  not  purchased  from  Negroes  but 
from  first,  second,  and  third  owners,  and  at  a  price  much  below  the  original  value. 

With  an  opportunity  for  renting  or  purchasing  the  houses  in  this  area, 
Negroes  began  to  move  in,  first  in  small  numbers  and  soon  in  larger  numbers. 
They  naturally  sought  to  abandon  the  generally  and  often  extremely  dilapidated 
houses  west  of  State  Street. 


Buildings  twenty  to  thirty  years  old  deteriorate  rapidly  unless  expensive 
repairs  are  made.  As  Negroes  were  often  unable  to  make  such  repairs  while 
paying  for  the  property,  the  depreciation  continued. 

Widespread  buying  of  property  in  this  district  by  Negroes  began 
during  the  period  of  the  migration.  Many  home-owning  Negroes,  having 
sold  their  property  in  the  South  and  brought  the  money  to  Chicago,  found  it 
easier  to  buy  a  house  here  on  a  first  payment  of  $200  to  $500,  and  on  monthly 
instalments  thereafter,  than  to  pay  the  rents  demanded.  Few,  however, 
knew  anything  of  city  property  values;  they  were  often  exploited  by  agents 
or  assumed  larger  obligations  than  they  could  easily  handle. 

Many  Negroes  purchased  fairly  substantial  dwellings  on  the  long-time 
instalment  plan  without  providing  for  repairs  and  maintenance.  Usually 
the  monthly  payment  to  cover  interest,  taxes,  and  instalment  on  principal 
was  about  all  the  Negro  and  his  family  could  carry,  even  though  his  wife's 
wages  supplemented  his.    Thus  nothing  was  left  for  upkeep. 

Real  estate  agents  before  the  Commission  agreed  that  Negroes  meet  these 
obligations  with  reasonable  regularity.  One  white  real-estate  broker  said: 
"Those  of  us  who  have  dealings  with  Negroes  find  that  they  make  very  fair 
clients  on  the  whole,  pay  their  way,  and  ask  no  favors  that  any  other  human 
being  would  not  ask." 

Another  referred  to  Negroes  as  "wonderful  instalment  buyers"  who  have 
a  "  tendency  to  invest  in  a  home  earlier  than  whites,"  and  said  that  in  fifteen 
years'  experience  his  firm  had  never  foreclosed  on  a  Negro  home  buyer;  and 
in  only  two  cases,  due  to  exceptional  circumstances,  had  contracts  been  for- 
feited.   Two  Negro  real  estate  dealers  said: 

A  colored  man  usually  feels  that  he  will  go  without  food  rather  than  not  meet  his 
obligations.    That  is  one  reason  why  sometimes  his  home  is  run  down,  because  he 


has  spent  every  dollar  he  can  get  to  meet  the  payments  on  that  property.    He  cannot 
spare  the  money  sometimes  to  buy  a  lawn  mower  or  sprinkling  hose. 

A  colored  man  who  buys  a  piece  of  property  in  a  neighborhood  has  no  financial 
connections.  He  meets  his  obligations  promptly  for  three  reasons:  first,  he  wants 
a  home;  second,  he  knows  they  may  squeeze  him;  third,  that  mortgage  is  coming 
due  and  he  doesn't  know  where  to  go  to  get  it  renewed.  We  have  no  organization  of 
our  own  to  back  him.  If  the  fence  is  to  be  fixed  or  the  house  is  to  be  painted,  and  a 
year  from  that  date  the  mortgage  is  due,  and  he  has  $500  in  the  bank,  he  wiU  not 
paint  his  house  for  the  simple  reason  that,  if  he  did,  when  the  mortgage  is  due  he  will 
not  be  able  to  meet  it.  He  saves,  and  when  the  mortgage  comes  due  he  has  $5°°) 
$600,  or  $700  set  aside  to  meet  it. 

Frequently  Negroes  overreach  themselves  in  purchasing  property.  Charles 
Duke,  a  Negro,  in  a  pamphlet  on  Negro  housing  in  Chicago  remarked: 

A  very  harmful  result  of  present  tendencies  is  manifested  in  the  acquisition  of  homes 
by  colored  people  beyond  their  social  or  economic  advancement.  The  economic 
waste  in  this  particular  has  been  especially  great.  They  represent  in  many  cases 
a  considerable  outlay  of  capital.  The  domestic  facilities  they  afford  are  years  beyond 
the  needs  of  the  people  to  whom  they  are  allotted.  In  many  instances  it  costs  a 
small  fortune  annually  to  maintain  one  of  these  establishments,  and  when  this  is 
not  done  the  depreciation  is  both  rapid  and  spectacular. 

There  is  such  lack  of  hotels  and  lodging-houses  for  Negroes,  especially  for 
single  men,  that  many  Negroes  have  bought  or  rented  houses  with  the  intention 
of  paying  for  them,  in  part  at  least,  with  income  from  lodgers  or  boarders. 
Such  use  leads  to  overcrowding,  with  consequent  rapid  deterioration  and 
depreciation.  This  tendency .  is  accentuated  by  the  fact  that  the  houses 
that  Negroes  can  buy  are  usually  old  and  deteriorated. 

While  new  arrivals  from  the  South  soon  learn  that  the  poorest  city  tenement 
requires  better  care  than  plantation  cabins,  their  carelessness  meanwhile 
contributes  to  the  property  depreciation  of  their  dwellings  and  neighborhood. 

There  are  other  factors  of  depreciation  in  this  district  which  became  active 
after  the  Negroes  came,  but  for  which  they  were  not  whoUy  responsible.  One 
was  the  remodeling  of  residences  for  business  purposes.  While  the  remodeled 
property  may  bring  larger  returns,  neighboring  residence  property  declines 
in  value.  Many  fine  old  dwellings  on  Michigan  Avenue  and  Grand  Boulevard 
have  been  transformed  in  recent  years  into  lamp-shade  factories,  second-hand 
fur  shops,  and  small  business  houses;  and  these  changes  have  depreciated 
neighboring  property  for  residence  purposes. 

Another  factor  of  depreciation  is  the  city's  tolerance  of  gambling  and 
immorality  in  and  near  areas  of  Negro  residence.  In  most  cities  where  Negroes 
are  numerous  a  like  tendency  appears.  Little  consideration  is  given  to  the 
desire  of  Negroes  to  live  in  untainted  districts,  and  they  have  not  been  able 
to  make  effective  protest. 


In  1916  the  Chicago  Daily  News,  in  a  series  of  articles  on  the  Negroes, 
described  some  of  the  disorderly  saloons  and  cabarets  in  the  South  State  and 
Thirty-fifth  streets  region,  with  their  vile  associations  of  disreputable  whites 
and  blacks: 

Other  resorts  in  the  district  are  worse;  some  are  better.  These  are  typical  of  the 
roistering  saloons,  a  kind  which  would  not  be  tolerated  in  any  other  part  of  the  city 
since  the  old  Twenty-second  Street  levee  was  broken  up.  White  proprietors  have 
brought  them  into  the  district,  and  many  of  them  are  patronized  largely  by  crowds 
from  other  parts  of  the  city.  The  resorts  are  forced  on  the  colored  people.  Those 
colored  families  in  good  circumstances  and  desiring  respectable  surroundings  move 
away,  only  to  find  disorderly  saloons  trailing  after  them. 

At  301  East  Thirty-seventh  Street,  on  the  southeast  comer  of  Forest  Avenue,  is  the 
saloon  of  C — .  With  this  exception  the  district  is  a  quiet,  respectable  residence 
quarter.  When  it  was  known  that  this  property  was  to  be  used  for  saloon  purposes 
a  petition  of  protest  was  signed  by  300  representative  colored  men  and  presented  to 
Mayor  Harrison. 

At  night  this  saloon  is  an  animated  place.  Reputable  colored  families  object  to 
it  chiefly  on  account  of  the  numbers  of  disorderly  white  women  who  meet  colored  men 
in  its  diminutive  back  room.  In  the  barroom  an  automatic  piano  thumps  through 
the  night  until  closing  hours.  On  the  mirrors  are  pasted  chromos  of  "September 
Morn"  and  other  poses  of  nude  women. 

Buffet  flats  and  disorderly  hotels  are  adjuncts  of  the  bad  saloons.  They  make  a 
better  harvest  for  the  police  than  the  saloons.  The  borderland  of  a  colored  residential 
district  is  the  haven  for  disorderly  resorts.  Protests  of  colored  residents  against  the 
painted  women  in  their  neighborhood,  the  midnight  honking  of  automobiles,  the 
loud  profanity  and  vulgarity  are  usually  ignored  by  the  police. 

In  one  block  between  South  State  and  South  Dearborn  streets  which  was  can- 
vassed by  the  Daily  News,  five  places  were  found  openly  admitted  to  be  disorderly 
houses.  Some  were  in  flat  buildings,  the  other  tenants  of  which  apparently  were 
respectable,  some  raising  families  of  children. 

Many  white  owners  of  real  estate  who  speak  in  horrified  whispers  of  vice  dangers 
view  such  dangers  with  complacency  when  these  are  thrust  among  colored  families. 
Two  years  ago  a  woman  of  the  underworld  and  her  gambler  husband  decided  to  open 
a  "high-class ''  resort  on  the  South  Side.  She  got  a  location  as  a  neighbor  of  reputable 
colored  people  by  purchasing  the  home  of  a  former  alderman  and  leader  in  a  church, 
the  one  of  which  the  Rev.  John  P.  Brushingham,  secretary  of  Mayor  Thompson's 
Morals  Commission,  is  the  pastor.  The  woman  was  one  of  the  most  notorious  of 
the  demimonde.  An  oil  painting  of  her,  as  she  was  before  her  husband  in  a  fit  of 
jealousy  bit  oS  a  part  of  her  nose,  for  years  hung  in  a  saloon  of  international  reputation. 

These  are  some  of  the  influences  which  the  colored  population  is  forced  to  combat 
in  its  fight  for  decency  and  good  citizenship.  A  few  secure  political  preferment  and 
others  profit  by  catering  to  the  city's  vices,  while  the  rank  and  file  are  hedged  around 
by  demoralizing  influences  and  the  race  is  discredited  imjustly. 

Another  chapter  of  this  series  dealt  with  gambling  in  the  South  Side 
district.    Here  are  two  excerpts: 


(Note  pavement  and  smoke) 

Classified  in  text  as  "Type  C" 

Classified  in  text  as  "Type  D" 


Colored  men  are  in  active  control  of  the  gambling  situation  in  the  big  part  of  their 
district  in  the  second  ward.  Back  of  them  are  white  police  officials  at  one  end  of  the 
line  and  white  politicians  who  keep  them  in  power  at  the  other  end  of  the  Une.  When 
second  ward,  and  even  some  adjacent  ward,  gambling  is  discussed  by  gamblers  on 
the  inside,  certain  colored  men  are  always  mentioned.  They  are  called  "the  syndi- 
cate, "  and  their  approval  is  said  to  be  necessary  if  the  police  are  to  let  anybody  run 
in  the  ward. 

Whether  gambling  is  a  more  dangerous  cause  of  demoralization  of  a  community 
than  are  disorderly  saloons,  buffet  flats  and  dissolute  women  is  an  often  discussed 
question.  Gambling  is  a  man's  game,  is  more  open,  and  the  connection  between  it, 
the  police,  and  politics  easier  to  trace.  In  order  to  gamble  the  poUce  must  be  evaded, 
which  is  difficult,  or  made  blind  by  a  peculiar  remedy  for  itching  palms  or  by  orders 
from  political  powers  that  be.  However,  it  usually  is  the  same  police  and  the  same 
politicians  who  are  protecting  both  classes  of  vice. 

The  contamination  of  these  influences  depreciates  property  and  casts  a 
blight  upon  aU  who  live  within  their  unrestricted  range.  The  taint  extends 
beyond  the  blocks  in  which  they  exist  and  serves  to  promote  prejudice  and 
ill  feeling  against  the  Negroes  who  are  the  unwilling  sufferers  from  these 
vicious  resorts. 

There  are  many  landlords  who  exact  high  rentals  from  Negroes  for  the 
use  of  run-down  houses.  AU  investigations  of  Negro  housing  on  the  South 
Side  indicated  that  as  a  rule  the  rents  are  excessive,  considering  the  inferior 
dwellings,  their  disrepair,  and  unsanitary  conditions.  This  neglect  by  the 
landlords  not  only  directly  depreciates  the  property  but  encourages  a  careless 
use  of  it  by  tenants  that  leads  to  the  same  end.  One  can  hardly  expect  tenants 
to  respect  property  that  is  not  respected  by  its  owners. 

Owners  and  agents  of  property  occupied  by  Negroes  differ  in  their  opinions 
of  Negroes  as  tenants  and  in  their  ways  of  handling  them.  Of  course  there  are 
differences  in  character,  standing,  and  responsibility  among  Negroes  as  among 
whites,  and  this  fact  partly  explains  the  following  differences  of  opinion 
expressed  by  experienced  real  estate  men: 

One  real  estate  firm,  on  Indiana  Avenue,  that  makes  leases  to  both  white  and 
Negro  clients,  said  that  property  occupied  by  Negroes  was  more  likely  to  run  down. 
Another  firm  on  East  Fifty-first  Street  reported  that  it  rented  to  Negroes  on  regular 
leases  and  had  no  trouble  about  coEections.  A  young  Negro  real  estate  agent  on 
Indiana  Avenue  said  that  he  had  no  difficulty  with  collections:  about  half  of  his 
tenants  came  to  the  office,  and  collectors  called  upon  the  other  half.  When  a  building 
supports  a  janitor,  he  said,  there  is  no  trouble  about  repairs,  but  if  the  responsibility 
is  upon  the  tenants  it  is  difficult  to  keep  a  building  in  repair.  The  office  manager 
for  a  firm  on  Cottage  Grove  Avenue  said  that  the  majority  of  its  Negro  tenants  are 
on  leases;  all  pay  the  rent  at  the  office;  if  they  fall  in  arrears  collectors  are  sent. 

A  firm  which  for  many  years  has  conducted  a  real  estate  business  on  the  South 
Side  reported  that  75  per  cent  of  its  Negro  tenants  are  on  a  month-to-month  basis 
with  thirty  days'  notice  to  terminate;  and  95  per  cent  of  them  are  north  of  Thirty 


ninth  Street.  A  firm  on  Indiana  Avenue  requires  its  tenants  to  sign  leases;  and  in 
districts  where  there  is  much  shifting  about,  or  where  the  property  is  for  sale,  a  sixty 
days'  notice  clause  is  inserted.  It  usually  sends  a  collector,  so  that  proper  super- 
vision may  be  kept  of  the  property.  Its  head  expressed  the  opinion  that  Negroes  are 
just  as  good  tenants  as  whites  whose  wages  are  on  about  the  same  scale. 

The  office  manager  of  an  owner  with  about  1,400  Negro  tenants  said  that  on  the 
whole  they  compared  very  favorably  with  the  white  tenants  who  preceded  them; 
while  some  Negroes  are  careless  and  ignorant,  they  all  paid  their  rent  promptly;  his 
office  did  not  average  one  eviction  a  month,  and  when  Negroes  are  evicted  they  rarely 
cause  trouble.  Quite  the  contrary  was  the  report  of  the  office  manager  of  a  real 
estate  firm  on  East  Thirty-first  Street,  which  does  an  extensive  business  with  Negroes. 
Much  depreciation,  he  said,  can  be  attributed  to  Negro  tenants;  they  are  much  harder 
on  houses  than  white  tenants  of  the  same  station  in  life;  they  do  not  take  proper  care 
of  the  furnaces  or  plumbing,  and  the  higher  rents  paid  by  them  merely  cover  the  cost 
of  the  additional  repairs;  the  recent  comers  pay  their  rent  promptly  when  they  have 
brought  money  with  them  or  when  they  receive  good  wages,  but  later  on  become  diffi- 
cult to  manage  because  they  find  it  hard  to  adjust  themselves  to  city  life. 

A  firm  on  East  Forty-seventh  Street  reported  that  it  has  a  large  number  of  Negro 
tenants,  makes  leases  to  them,  has  no  difficulty  in  collecting  rents,  and  considers 
them  more  desirable  than  the  whites  who  preceded  them;  a  firm  on  Indiana  Avenue 
expressed  the  opinion  that  depreciation  is  very  great  in  houses  rented  to  Negroes. 
That  Negro  tenants  pay  their  rent  promptly  was  the  experience  of  a  real  estate  agent 
on  Cottage  Grove  Avenue.  He  has  many  Negro  tenants  on  leases  and  is  well  satis- 
fied with  them,  although  he  does  not  think  they  take  as  good  care  of  the  property 
as  do  the  whites;  Negroes  are  usually  occupants  of  old  buildings,  which  are  more 
difficult  to  take  care  of. 

Another  real  estate  dealer  on  Cottage  Grove  Avenue  who  leases  to  Negroes  finds 
that  usually  they  adhere  to  the  terms  of  the  lease,  although  they  sometimes  move 
without  notice.  A  dealer  on  Wabash  Avenue,  who  rents  flats  to  Negroes,  said 
that  he  looked  up  the  housing  record  of  Negroes  carefully  before  letting  them  in,  yet 
he  sometimes  had  trouble  with  them.  Once  he  rented  a  flat  to  a  mother  and  daughter, 
and  the  next  day  he  found  another  family  living  in  it;  but  on  the  whole  he  was  well 
satisfied  to  have  Negroes  as  tenants. 

A  prominent  official  of  the  Grand  Boulevard  district  of  the  Kenwood  and  Hyde 
Park  Property  Owners'  Association,  which  seeks  to  keep  Negroes  out  of  Hyde  Park, 
stated  that  a  fimdamental  fault  in  connection  with  the  strained  relations  between 
whites  and  Negroes  was  the  failure  of  white  owners  to  keep  their  property  in  good 
condition  so  that  it  might  be  occupied  "efficiently,"  that  is,  by  white  persons. 
Another  official  of  that  organization  said  that  Negro  tenants  could  not  be  expected 
to  repair  white  men's  property;  that  there  are  a  great  many  dwellings  in  the  South 
Side  Negro  district  that  ought  to  be  condemned  by  the  city  health  department, 
and,  that  Negroes  are  compelled  to  live  in  them  because  they  can  get  nothing  better. 

In  analyzing  responsibility  for  depreciation,  in  the  area  from  Thirty-first 
to  Thirty-ninth  Street  and  from  State  Street  to  the  lake,  it  is  difficult  to  deter- 
mine to  just  what  extent  the  Negroes  are  there  because  of  prior  depreciation, 
and  to  what  extent  present  depreciation  is  due  to  their  presence.    It  is  certain, 


however,  that  a  large  part  of  the  depreciation  is  not  justly  chargeable  to  them, 
and  that  their  contribution  is  attributable  partly  to  their  economic  status  and 
partly  to  the  deep-seated  prejudice  against  them.  There  are  many  instances  in 
which  property  occupied  by  them  has  appreciated  in  value.  This  will  always  be 
true  when  the  use  by  Negroes,  or  the  demand  for  such  use,  is  higher  or  greater 
than  any  other  use  or  demand.  A  symptom  of  the  general  prejudice  is  the 
very  prevalent  belief  that  if  Negroes  have  once  occupied  property  its  value  is 
thereby  "destroyed"  for  white  persons.  This  is  true  only  until  it  has  a  value 
for  use  by  whites  greater  than  its  value  for  use  by  Negroes.  So  long  and  only 
so  long  as  Negroes  as  a  class  are,  or  are  generally  deemed  to  be,  at  the  bottom 
of  the  economic  scale  will  their  presence  in  a  neighborhood  depreciate  values. 
At  present  the  fact  stands  out  that  Negro  occupancy  is  an  unmistakable 
symptom  of  depreciation — an  indication  that  the  value  of  property  has  fallen 
to  their  economic  level,  as  well  as  an  aid  to  depreciation  in  its  last  stages. 


The  area  bounded  by  Thirty-ninth  and  Fifty-fifth  streets  and  Michigan  and 
Cottage  Grove  avenues  has  several  property  owners'  protective  associations 
for  the  purpose  of  preserving  property  values.  Their  dominant  interest  has 
been  the  exclusion  of  Negroes  because  these  associated  property  owners 
believe  that  Negroes  always  depreciate  the  values  of  real  estate.  Negroes 
have  moved  into  the  neighborhood  and  there  has  been  depreciation.  Therefore 
Negroes  are  the  cause. 

A  complete  understanding  of  the  situation  requires  that  it  be  determined 
to  what  extent  property  values  decreased  because  Negroes  moved  in,  and  to 
what  extent  Negroes  moved  in  because  property  values  had  decreased.  There 
is  no  doubt  that  the  thousands  of  protests  against  the  "invasion"  of  Negroes 
were  sincere.  It  is  also  true  that  scarcely  ten  Negroes  now  living  there  could 
have  purchased  their  properties  at  the  original  prices. 

A  leading  real  estate  dealer  said  that  "when  a  Negro  moves  into  a  block 
the  value  of  the  properties  on  both  sides  of  the  street  is  depreciated  all  the 
way  from  |ioo,ooo  to  $500,000,  depending  upon  the  value  of  the  property  in 
the  block";  that  it  was  a  fact  and  that  there  was  no  escaping  it. 

It's  a  condition  that  is  inherent  in  the  human  race a  man  will  not  buy  a 

piece  of  property  or  pufhis  money  in  or  invest  in  it  where  he  knows  that  he  is  Uable 
to  be  confronted  the  next  day  or  the  next  year  or  even  five  years  hence  with  the 
problem  of  having  colored  people  living  alongside  of  his  investment.  This  deprecia- 
tion runs  all  the  way  from  30  to  60  per  cent.  Some  time  ago  a  survey  was  made  as  a 
result  of  which  it  was  estimated  that  the  influx  of  Negroes  into  white  neighborhoods 
during  the  last  two  years  had  depreciated  property  on  the  South  Side  about 

He  cited  as  evidences  of  this  the  increased  difficulty  of  negotiating  loans  on 
South  Side  realty  on  any  terms,  and  the  fact  that  some  loan  companies  refused 
to  write  them  at  all,  and  loan  values  there  had  dropped  enormously. 


The  Grand  Boulevard  district  of  the  Kenwood  and  Hyde  Park  Property 
Owners'  Association  reported  an  even  larger  estimate  of  the  depreciation 
caused  by  the  coming  of  Negroes  into  property  near  that  boulevard.  A 
committee  of  the  Association  in  a  report  made  early  in  1920  claimed  that  the 
coming  of  Negro  owners  and  tenants  into  that  territory  had  depreciated 
property  values  of  $400,000,000  fuUy  50  per  cent. 

The  advent  of  the  first  Negro  famihes  in  a  white  district  usually  creates 
something  like  a  panic.  The  white  residents,  in  a  great  many  instances, 
fearing  contiguity  with  Negroes  and  property  loss,  hasten  to  offer  their  property 
for  sale  and  move  elsewhere.  Even  a  threat  that  Negroes  intend  to  occupy 
a  certain  block  or  neighborhood  will  cause  an  exodus  of  white  people,  and  their 
property  is  customarily  sold  at  a  sacrifice.  When  many  properties  are  thus 
thrown  on  the  market  low  prices  are  the  certain  result. 

When  in  recent  years,  Negroes  moved  into  the  Hyde  Park  district,  ani- 
mosity was  aroused,  and  numerous  bombings  of  property  occupied  by  Negroes 
followed.  One  of  the  oldest  South  Side  real  estate  dealers,  quoted  in  the 
Daily  News'  series  of  articles  in  the  summer  of  1919,  expressed  the  tense 
feeling  of  an  association  there  that  was  seeking  methods  to  drive  out  and  keep 
out  the  Negroes: 

We  want  to  be  fair.  We  want  to  do  what  is  right,  but  these  people  will  have  to 
be  more  or  less  pacified.  At  a  conference  where  their  representatives  were  present  I 
told  them  we  might  as  well  be  frank  about  it,  "You  people  are  not  admitted  to  our 
society,"  I  said.  Personally  I  have  no  prejudice  against  them.  I  have  had  experi- 
ence of  many  years  dealing  with  them,  and  I'll  say  this  for  them:  I  have  never  had 
to  foreclose  a  mortgage  on  one  of  them.  They  have  been  clean  in  every  way  and 
always  prompt  in  their  payments.  But,  you  know,  improvements  are  coming  along 
the  lake  shore,  the  Illinois  Central,  and  all  that;  we  can't  have  these  people  coming 
over  here.  Not  one  cent  has  been  appropriated  by  our  organization  for  bombing 
or  anything  like  that. 

They  injure  our  investments.  They  hurt  our  values.  I  couldn't  say  how  many 
have  moved  in,  but  there's  at  least  a  hundred  blocks  that  are  tainted.  We  are  not 
making  any  threat,  but  we  do  say  that  something  must  be  done.  Of  course,  if  they 
come  in  as  tenants,  we  can  handle  the  situation  fairly  easily,  but  when  they  get  a 
deed,  that's  another  matter. 

This  fear  of  Negro  neighbors  has  been  used  by  sonie  real  estate  agents  in 
promoting  speculative  schemes.  By  sending  a  Negro  to  inquire  about  property, 
they  alarm  the  neighbors  so  that  they  will  consider  offers  of  purchase  much 
below  the  normal  prices.  When  the  excitement  has  abated  values  rise  again, 
and  a  profit  is  made. 

In  the  actual  depreciation  of  Hyde  Park  property  there  were  several 
factors,  usually  overlooked,  that  were  in  no  wise  attributable  to  the  presence 
of  Negroes.  Some  of  Chicago's  finest  residences  were  located  on  Michigan 
Avenue  and  Grand  Boulevard  south  of  Thkty-ninth  Street.  This  was  an 
extension  of  the  early  fashionable  South  Side  district  and  had  residences  that 


cost  $350,000.  But  as  in  the  case  of  the  earlier  South  Side  the  neighborhood 
long  since  had  lost  some  of  its  first  settlers  and  had  begun  to  decline.  The 
World's  Columbian  Exposition,  held  in  Chicago  in  1893,  was  near  the  Hyde 
Park  neighborhood.  To  accommodate  the  millions  of  visitors  at  the  Exposi- 
tion hotels  and  apartment  houses  were  built  in  that  district  far  in  excess  of 
the  normal  need.  The  apartment  houses,  moreover,  affected  the  exclusiveness 
of  the  residence  streets.  The  buildings  were  speculations.  Large  sums  were 
expended  in  the  hope  of  immediate  exceptional  profits.  Property  on  Sixty- 
third  Street  sold  at  the  Exposition  time  for  three  times  the  price  it  could 
command  today.  This  is  typical  of  the  speculative  values  that  then  prevailed 
there.  After  the  Exposition  the  removal  of  the  first  residents  to  the  North 
Side  and  to  suburbs  steadily  increased. 

The  abnormal  years  just  preceding  the  Exposition  had  brought  in  thousands 
of  workmen,  who  were  thrown  out  of  work  when  the  Exposition  buildings  were 
finished.  This  and  the  panic  of  1893  made  building  costs  very  low  and  caused 
further  construction  of  dwelHngs  in  that  district.  Mr.  L.  M.  Smith,  a  promi- 
nent South  Side  real  estate  man,  described  this  change  at  a  meeting  of  the 
Kenwood  and  Hyde  Park  Property  Owners'  Association: 

The  condition  that  existed  after  the  World's  Fair,  if  you  will  remember,  in  the 
material  yards  and  the  labor  market  was  this:  Every  yard  was  loaded  up,  and  the 
carpenters  and  the  mechanics  that  were  stranded  here  after  the  World's  Fair  were 
glad  to  take  jobs  as  janitors  at  $25  a  month,  in  order  that  they  could  have  good  warm 
places  for  their  families,  and  buildings  that  were  put  up  three  and  four  years  after 
the  Fair,  along  in  1894,  1895,  and  1896,  could  be  buUt  at  about  30  per  cent  cheaper 
than  those  that  were  put  up  during  the  World's  Fair.  The  consequences  were  that 
you  covild  rent  a  flat  cheaper  in  a  brand-new  modem  building  than  you  could  in  a 
building  that  was  put  up  during  the  World's  Fair,  and  as  the  older  buUdings  could  not 
be  rented,  the  owners  finally  had  to  come  down  in  their  rent  more  and  more;  they 
got  in  less  and  less  desirable  tenants  until  finally  the  whole  territory  became  unde- 

These  first  "undesirables"  were  not  Negroes,  for  Negroes  had  not  then 
moved  across  State  Street.  And  there  were  other  causes  for  the  vacancies 
and  removals  that  admitted  Hyde  Park's  first  undesirables  beside  the  over- 
building. One  was  the  proximity  of  the  Stock  Yards.  Since  the  South 
Siders  could  not  have  the  Stock  Yards  moved,  many  of  them  moved  themselves. 
The  railroads  along  the  lake  front,  with  their  cinders,  smoke,  and  noise,  were 
also  a  factor.  Another  was  the  creeping  in  of  industrial  plants  that  located 
in  and  near  the  district,  frequently  in  the  face  of  protests.  A  striking  instance 
of  this  is  the  large  assembly  plant  of  an  automobile  company  at  Thirty-ninth 
Street  and  Michigan  Avenue.  During  recent  years  the  automobile  industry- 
has  practically  taken  control  of  Michigan  Avenue,  once  the  most  beautiful 
street  of  the  South  Side. 

The  coming  of  apartment  houses  and  boarding-houses  was  another  signal 
of  declining  values.    It  was  shown  that  for  twenty-five  years  scarcely  a  new 


residence  had  been  built  on  Grand  Boulevard,  once  noted  for  its  handsome 
residences — due  principally  to  the  extensive  building  of  apartment  houses 

Racial  prejudice  other  than  that  against  Negroes  has  operated  in  many 
instances  to  depress  property  values.  The  presence  of  Jews,  Germans,  Irish, 
Italians,  and  Swedes  has  at  times  been  objectionable  to  neighborhoods  of 
Americans  or  of  another  race.  A  leader  in  the  movement  to  remove  Negroes 
from  the  Grand  Boulevard  area  gave  evidence  of  this,  saying:  "I  know  the 
Irish  killed  a  certain  boulevard.  I  know  the  Jews  hurt  another  one,  and  I 
know  the  gambUng  element  hurt  another  one." 

On  the  South  Side  the  Negroes  were  preceded  by  Irish.  The  original 
settlers  in  the  area  around  Thirty-first  and  Dearborn  streets  were  mainly 
Irish  laborers  who  worked  in  the  lumber  yards  and  mills,  the  Stock  Yards, 
and  other  South  Side  industries.  When  they  moved  westward  among  their 
own  people,  thirty-five  years  ago,  the  Negroes  took  their  places. 

Sometimes  social  or  sentimental  values  are  involved  iu  the  depreciation 
brought  about  when  a  new  race  or  nationality  breaks  down  the  exclusiveness 
of  a  residence  district.  After  the  Exposition,  for  example,  when  wealthy 
residents  of  Michigan  Avenue,  and  Grand  and  Drexel  boulevards  deserted  their 
houses,  for  more  fashionable  locations,  many  of  them  were  bought  by  Jews. 
This  operated  to  depreciate  adjacent  property  in  the  opinion  of  those  who  dis- 
liked Jews  as  neighbors. 

How  the  changes  take  place  was  well  described  by  an  experienced  real 
estate  man:  The  original  famihes  have  divided  up  and  moved  away;  sons 
and  daughters  have  married;  the  servant  problem  has  become  acute,  making 
it  difficult  to  maintain  large  houses;  thus  apartment  houses  have  become 
popular;  houses  are  older  and  deteriorated,  apartments  are  new  and  modern. 
In  1915  when  the  number  of  apartments  for  rent  was  in  excess  of  the  demand, 
a  tenant  would  spend  $25  or  $30  in  order  to  move  into  an  apartment  across 
the  street  merely  because  it  happened  to  be  fitted  with  glass  door  knobs;  a 
high-class  residence  at  ForrestviUe  Avenue  and  Forty-fifth  Street  was  sold 
twenty  years  ago  for  $12,000;  yet  he  told  the  purchasers  ten  years  ago  that  the 
property  would  not  sell  for  more  than  $4,000  to  $6,000;  and  that  was  before 
Negroes  had  moved  into  the  neighborhood.  Apartments  in  that  vicinity 
still  command  a  price  approaching  their  original  cost  of  building,  because  the 
demand  for  them  is  stronger  than  for  houses. 

This  real  estate  man  made  the  broad  statement  that  the  depreciation  has 
taken  effect,  in  the  majority  of  cases,  before  a  Negro  family  has  moved  into  a 
neighborhood.  There  is  depreciation,  he  thought,  due  to  prejudice,  when  a 
Negro  family  moves  into  a  good  neighborhood  that  has  been  exclusively  white, 
but  that  there  are  very  few  such  instances  for  the  reason  that  Negroes  prefer 
to  live  where  they  are  welcome,  where  there  is  no  antagonism.  With  regard 
to  the  district  between  Thirty-ninth  and  Fifty-fifth  streets,  State  Street  and 


Cottage  Grove  Avenue,  he  stated  that  the  entrance  of  the  Negro  had  not 
appreciably  affected  values. 

Another  real  estate  dealer,  experienced  in  South  Side  property  and  in 
selling  to  Negroes,  expressed  similar  opinions.  The  greatest  depreciation,  he 
felt,  was  in  the  expensive  residences,  and  he  doubted  whether  property  as  a 
whole  in  the  square  mile  centered  at  State  and  Thirty-fifth  streets  had  been 
depreciated  much  if  at  all. 

There  was  agreement  among  the  authorities  consulted  that  in  an  exclusive 
neighborhood  of  wealthy  residents  marked  depreciation  in  large  residences 
has  taken  place,  followed  by  the  introduction  of  apartment  buildings.  One 
of  the  men  who  had  earnestly  opposed  Negro  entrance  into  the  Grand  Boulevard 
district  recalled  when  valuations  on  Grand  and  Drexel  boulevards  were  from 
$400  to  $600  a  front  foot;  then  they  fell  to  $125  or  $150  a  foot;  andthengradu- 
ally  climbed  back  to  $175  or  $200  a  foot  on  account  of  the  introduction  of 
apartment  buildings. 

Such  variations  in  value  are  the  usual  accompaniment  of  unguided  growth 
in  a  large  city.  This  imguided  development  brought  depreciation,  which  was 
manifest  before  Negroes  began  to  make  their  appearance  in  the  area. 

The  spread  of  clandestine  prostitution,  discussed  in  connection  with  the 
area  north  of  Thirty-ninth  Street,  did  not  stop  at  Thirty-ninth  Street.  As  the 
environment  maps  radicate,'  there  was  a  noticeable  increase  from  1916  to 
1918  in  the  nvunber  of  houses  or  flats  used  by  prostitutes  in  the  area  south  of 
Thirty-ninth  Street.  These  changes  occurred  before  the  spread  of  the  Negro 
population  reached  the  neighborhood.  Two  houses,  for  example,  at  4404 
and  4406  Grand  Boulevard,  bought  by  a  Negro  woman  and  bombed  four  times 
after  she  moved  in,  had  been  occupied  by  prostitutes  just  prior  to  her  purchase. 

The  coming  of  Negroes. — In  1916  hundreds  of  buildings  in  the  Hyde  Park 
area  stood  vacant  and  had  been  so  for  some  time.  Owners  and  real  estate 
men  were  offering  large  concessions  in  the  effort  to  get  tenants.  Values  had 
fallen  greatly.  A  prominent  real  estate  man  closely  in  touch  with  the  neighbor- 
hood estimated  that  25  per  cent  of  the  buildings  there  were  vacant,  and  that 
there  was  little  prospect  of  renting  or  selling  them.  Coincident  with  this 
oversupply  in  Hyde  Park  was  an  acute  demand  among  Negroes  for  houses, 
intensified  by  the  sudden  addition  of  about  50,000  migrants.  Many  of  them 
had  sold  their  property  in  the  South  and  brought  the  money  with  them.  Hyde 
Park  landlords  were  willing  to  sell  or  rent  to  them  rather  than  lose  their  property 
entirely.  Many  Negroes,  however,  instead  of  renting,  purchased  the  properties 
because  of  the  exceptional  terms  offered. 

This  continued  for  about  two  years,  when  a  demand  for  houses  again  arose 

among  the  white  population.    There  was  inactivity  in  building  throughout  the 

war  period.    Chicago  was  sharing  in  the  housing  shortage  which  affected  the 

whole  coimtry,  which  was  estimated  in  the  early  part  of  1921  at  50,000  houses. 

'See  pp.  342  and  346. 


As  the  demand  of  whites  for  housing  became  acute,  Hyde  Park  ovmers  began 
to  feel  that  their  property  was  at  a  disadvantage  due  to  the  presence  of 

Plans  for  beautifying  the  lake  front  and  improving  Hyde  Park  were 
emphasized  as  a  reason  for  holding  on  to  property  there.  Alderman  Schwartz, 
in  addressing  a  meeting  of  the  Grand  Boulevard  district  of  the  Kenwood  and 
Hyde  Park  Property  Owners'  Association,  said: 

The  South  Side,  and  Hyde  Park  and  Kenwood  in  particular,  in  past  years  has  been 
the  choice  residential  section  of  Chicago,  the  show  place  of  Chicago.  Grand  Boule- 
vard is  the  most  magnificent  street  in  the  world,  the  finest  boulevard  of  our  wonderful 
boulevard  system.  I  know  that  for  many,  many  years,  in  this  town,  it  was  the 
ambition  of  people  hving  in  other  parts  of  the  city  to  arrange  matters  so  that  they 
could  have  their  homes  on  the  South  Side  in  the  place  where  you  now  live. 

We  have  seen  the  rapid  deterioration.  In  the  council  and  in  the  committees  we 
have  decided  that  we  must  do  something.  The  law  has  some  very  definite  limitations 
written  into  our  constitution  and  statutes.  It  cannot  afford  any  rehef.  You  your- 
selves must  resurrect  the  South  Side. 

As  one  instance  of  what  we  attempted  to  do  in  the  way  of  assuring  to  the  people 
who  reside  here  that  the  South  Side  can  and  will  continue  to  be  the  great  place  we  live 
in,  we  passed  the  Lake  Front  Ordinance.  You  people  probably  never  realized  what 
a  wonderful  thing  that  will  be  for  the  South  Side.  It  will  take  in  the  lake  front  from 
Twelfth  Street  south  to  Fifty-first;  it  will  affect  the  very  choicest  residential  district 
in  Chicago,  the  territory  between  Thirty-ninth  Street  and  Forty-seventh  Street — 
in  this  portion  of  the  ward  where  we  now  are,  something  like  $125,000,000  wiU  be 
expended  in  reclaiming  the  lake  front  for  you  people,  you  men  and  women  who  must 
stand  together  to  save  your  homes,  see  that  your  homes  are  kept  as  fine  places  to 
live  in,  that  your  neighbors  are  kept  the  most  desirable  neighbors  in  the  city  of  Chicago, 
so  that  you  may  enjoy  the  benefit  of  that  wonderful  improvement  that  is  to  come. 
Think  of  that  tremendous  stretch,  from  Thirty-ninth  to  Forty-seventh,  of  bathing 
facilities,  the  fiinest  in  the  world.  More  than  a  year  and  a  half  ago  an  estimate  was 
made  of  the  loss  in  property  values  in  the  Oakland  district,  north  of  Forty-third 
Street,  and  that  was  estimated  to  be  $100,000,000.  Now  it  is  not  only  the  loss  of 
money  that  interests  us.  It  means  not  only  that  somebody  has  lost  a  certain  amount 
of  wealth,  but  it  means  that  somebody  has  lost  comfort  Lu  hving;  someone  has  lost 
joy  in  his  home;  someone  has  lost  the  opportunity  to  give  his  children  the  environ- 
ment that  he  wanted  to  give. 

A  survey  made  by  the  Hyde  Park  Property  Owners'  Association  in  1920 
showed  that  there  were  then  3,300  property  owners  in  the  area  bounded  by 
Thurty-ninth  and  Fifty-fifth  streets,  Michigan  Avenue  and  Cottage  Grove 
Avenue,  and  that  of  this  number  i  ,000  were  Negroes.  Then  began  the  attempts 
to  move  Negroes'  back  into  "their  own  neighborhood." 

Many  of  the  Negroes  who  moved  into  this  area  had  substantial  resources 
enabhng  them  either  to  buy  property  outright  or  so  to  arrange  for  payments 
through  instalments  and  mortgages  as  to  render  themselves  secure  against 

'  See  "Contested  Neighborhoods,"  p.  116. 


efforts  to  remove  them.  But  in  so  doing  they  further  comphcated  the  status 
of  the  neighborhood.  Few  white  persons  recognize  the  marked  differences 
among  Negroes,  so  that  in  purely  commercial  dealings  they  are  not  as  careful 
in  selecting  Negro  tenants  as  they  would  be  among  whites.  As  a  result  some 
Negroes  who  secured  property  there  proved  damaging  to  property  values,  just 
as  would  persons  of  a  similar  type  from  any  other  race. 

Many  of  the  houses  for  sale  or  rent  were  not  suited  to  the  incomes  of 
ordinary  wage-earners.  White  persons  whose  incomes  were  sufficient  to  pay 
the  rental  for  such  large  houses  preferred  a  different  sort  of  house  or  neighbor- 
hood; and  whites  of  smaller  incomes  could  find  more  suitable  houses  elsewhere; 
while  Negroes,  hard  pressed  for  houses,  rented  them,  and  took  lodgers  to  fill 
them  and  help  pay  the  rent. 

The  exclusive  occupancy  of  a  block  by  Negroes  is  usually  followed  by  less 
care  of  streets  and  alleys.  This  neglect  is  general  between  Twenty-second 
and  Thirty-ninth  streets  and  is  beguining  to  appear  in  the  territory  between 
Thirty-ninth  and  Forty-third  streets  where  recently  blocks  have  been  "  turned 
over"  to  Negroes.  Community  associations  are  being  formed  in  some  of 
these  areas  to  protest  against  this  laxity,  and  stimulate  neighborhood  interest 
in  neat  premises. 

Appreciation  of  property. — ^When  values  fall  extremely  due  to  a  selling 
panic  among  white  owners,  it  is  often  followed  by  a  decided  recovery  as  the 
Negro  demand  grows.  Such  a  new  market  among  Negroes,  however,  seems  never 
to  have  been  strong  enough  to  send  prices  for  residence  purposes  back  to  origi- 
nal levels.  But  many  instances  have  shown  that  prices  rarely  stay  at  the 
low  "panic"  level  and  frequently  rebound  to  a  level  much  above  that  at  which 
panic  sales  were  made.  Mr.  Gates,  a  prominent  South  Side  real  estate  dealer, 
said:  "If  a  Negro  family  locates  m  a  street  where  the  population  is  all  white, 
values  are  cut  in  two,  but  this  would  not  be  likely  to  occur  if  a  large  number 
of  Negroes  were  ready  and  willing  to  buy  adjacent  property  at  established 
prices.  Supply  and  demand  would  rule  in  such  a  market."  Other  real 
estate  dealers  expressed  the  opinion  that  "if  the  white  owners  were  not  over- 
anxious to  sell  when  the  Negro  'invasion'  begins,  they  might  later  on  obtain 
as  much  or  more  for  their  property  than  they  could  have  obtained  before  the 
advent  of  the  Negroes." 

In  numerous  cases  Negroes  created  a  market  for  property  when  there  was 
none.  A  prominent  white  business  man  long  resident  on  the  South  Side  told 
of  a  row  of  houses  on  South  Park  Avenue  and  Grand  Boulevard  that  were 
vacant  for  years  until  sold  or  rented  to  Negroes:  they  could  not  be  sold  at 
all  until  they  took  on  a  value  because  Negroes  were  ready  to  buy  them. 

A  prominent  Negro  physician  bought  a  piece  of  property  in  an  exclusive 
white  Hyde  Park  neighborhood.  He  lived  there  seven  years  and  then  sold 
the  property  at  an  advance,  and,  to  his  knowledge,  there  had  been  no  deprecia- 
tion in  adjacent  property. 


A  white  real  estate  dealer  bought  a  house  in  Grand  Boulevard  between 
Thirty-fifth  and  Thirty-sixth  streets  about  five  years  ago.  When  Negro 
residents  came  some  of  the  white  people  sold  at  a  sacrifice.  But  he  remained 
and  four  years  later  sold  the  property  for  $2,000  above  its  cost  to  him. 

An  interesting  instance  related  to  property  on  Langley  Avenue  into  which 
a  Negro  family  moved  in  1919.  The  value  of  contiguous  property  remained 
the  same  as  of  property  two  and  three  blocks  east  where  no  Negroes  Hved. 
Six  months  later,  across  the  street  from  this  Negro  family,  a  white  man, 
aware  of  their  occupancy,  bought  a  house  and  paid  $1,500  more  than  it  had 
formerly  been  gffered  for. 

Thus,  notwithstanding  the  prejudice  against  Negro  neighbors  that  usually 
obtains,  a  block  or  neighborhood  into  which  Negroes  move  is  not  always  and 
necessarily  depreciated,  so  many  and  active  are  the  other  factors  contributing 
to  depreciation  (or  sometimes  preventing) ;  and  so  frequently  has  it  occurred 
that  these  factors  of  depreciation  have  operated  extensively  prior  to  the  arrival 
of  Negroes. 

The  fluctuation  of  values  in  response  to  sentiment,  both  inherent  and 
stimulated,  manifested  itself  in  a  practice  of  certain  real  estate  dealers  on  the 
South  Side.  Although  it  was  stated  and  believed  that  values  were  irrevocably 
destroyed  when  a  Negro  family  occupied  a  building,  these  agents  boosted  values 
by  announcing  that  another  building  had  been  "saved"  or  "redeemed," 
thoroughly  renovated,  and  restored  to  its  "rightful  occupants."  The  Kenwood 
and  Hyde  Park  Property  Owners'  Association  stated  that  this  plan  had 
succeeded  in  sixty-eight  instances  of  buildings  "reclaimed"  by  the  Association. 

A  Prairie  Avenue  block. — To  study  the  processes  and  factors  of  depreciation 
the  Commission  selected  an  obviously  depreciated  block  on  the  once  fashionable 
Prairie  Avenue,  between  Twenty-ninth  and  Thirtieth  streets,  into  which  no 
Negroes  had  yet  moved. 

In  1885-90  Prairie  Avenue  was  one  of  Chicago's  most  fashionable  and 
exclusive  residential  streets.  Imposing  brown-  and  gray-stone  residences, 
with  balconies  of  stone  and  ornamental  iron,  broad  bay-windows,  and  large 
well-kept  lawns  behind  high  iron  fences,  gave  evidence  of  the  wealth  and  social 
position  of  their  owners. 

The  gradual  decline  of  Prairie  Avenue,  as  North  Side  and  North  Shore 
neighborhoods  became  more  fashionable  places  of  residence,  and  long  before 
the  approach  of  Negroes  was  even  thought  of,  was  exemplified  in  this  block. 
Chicago  Blue  Book,  a  broadly  inclusive  social  directory,  published  annually, 
shows  that  in  1890  the  families  living  at  forty-nine  of  the  sixty-one  addresses 
in  the  block  were  listed;  in  1900  there  were  eighteen  of  the  forty-nine  left; 
in  1910  there  were  only  ten,  and  in  1915  only  two.  Second  and  third  occupants 
of  the  houses  took  the  places  of  fifteen  of  the  original  forty-nine  in  1900,  of 
nine  in  1910,  and  of  four  in  1915.  The  Blue  Book  listings  at  five-year  intervals 
are  shown  in  the  table  on  the  following  page. 


WOOD   H0U5E5 W¥^ 




/f/D/>1///?  ^i/£//e/£. 

Cyfii/ATsr  /^i/c/zi/j: 



From  1895  on,  those  who  moved  away  were  to  be  found  scattered  all  the 
way  from  Lake  Shore  Drive  to  Lake  Forest.  The  newcomers  who  took 
their  places  appeared  decreasingly  in  the  Blue  Book  and  more  and  more  fre- 
quently they  had  Irish  or  Jewish  names. 

A  closer  examination  of  the  changing  occupancy  of  the  sixty-one  houses 
in  the  block  shows  strikingly  the  rapidity  and  extent  of  the  decline  and  reveals 
some  of  its  causes. 



Number  of  Houses 
Listed  with  no 
Change  in  Occu- 

Number  of  Houses 
Not  Listed 

Number  of  Houses 
with  Second  and 
Third  Occupants 












The  residents. — In  a  house  with  fifty  feet  frontage  on  Prairie  Avenue  lived 
a  wealthy  artist,  son  of  a  Chicago  pioneer  merchant  and  member  of  several 
exclusive  clubs.  He  lived  there  imtil  a  large  brick  factory  wis  erected  at  the 
rear  of  his  residence  which  is  now  occupied  by  a  medical  fraternity.  A  promi- 
nent Chicago  famUy  lived  in  another  house  which  they  had  built  in  1885. 
In  i8go,  they  moved  to  Cleveland  and  rented  the  property.  For  sentimental 
reasons  they  kept  the  property,  although  it  was  fast  sinking  in  value.  In  1919 
a  son  living  in  Lake  Forest  proposed  to  remodel  and  improve  the  property, 
if  by  reasonable  expenditures  he  could  be  assured  by  real  estate  men  of  "desir- 
able" tenants.  No  real  estate  man  felt  able  to  do  this,  however,  and  the 
deterioration  and  depreciation  were  uninterrupted. 

Another  residence,  formerly  occupied  by  a  capitaUst  and  journalist  siace 
1890,  was  a  large  two-story  house  with  basement  and  attic  and  two-story  brick 
bam.  The  family  long  since  moved  to  the  North  Side,  and  the  old  mansion  on 
Prairie  Avenue  is  now  a  rooming-house  of  thirty-eight  rooms,  including  the 

At  another  address  lived  the  president  of  a  large  business  corporation, 
in  a  two-story  stone-front  building.  It  is  now  cut  up  into  flats;  and  in  the 
window  recently  was  a  sign:  "4th  Flat  for  Rent,  6  Rooms,  $20.00,  White  Only." 

Only  one  or  two  of  the  fine  old  residences  in  this  block  are  still  occupied 
by  Chicago's  "first  families"  or  owned  by  their  estates. 

There  are  now  two  relatively  modem  three-  and  four-story  brick  apartment 
buildings  in  the  block,  and  five  old  residences  are  rooming-houses.  One  is  a 
club  for  railroad  men,  and  another  is  a  fraternity  house.  About  a  third  of  the 
places  are  in  fairly  good  repair. 


The  altered  character  of  the  block  is  revealed  also  in  the  number  of  persons 
now  at  each  address.  The  polling  lists  for  March,  1920,  disclose  that  fourteen 
persons  are  registered  from  one  address,  ten  from  another,  seven  from  another, 
six  each  from  three  others,  and  so  on,  indicating  more  advdts  than  are  usually 
found  in  a  single  family.    These  are  probably  roomers. 

The  problem,  however,  is  a  complex  one,  for,  although  no  Negroes  moved 
into  this  block,  they  occupied  parts  of  neighboring  blocks  during  that  period, 
and  their  occupancy  contributed  to  the  final  stage  of  depreciation. 

The  picture  in  neighboring  Calumet  Avenue  is  not  essentially  different; 
perhaps  the  early  occupants  represented  fewer  of  the  "first  families,"  and  the 
deterioration  is  more  obvious. 

The  evidences  of  the  oncoming  of  commerce  and  industry  from  the  north 
are  numerous  and  inescapable.  In  this  and  adjoining  blocks  are  now  garages, 
an  auto-repairing  shop,  the  South  Side  Dispensary  of  the  Municipal  Tubercu- 
losis Sanitarium,  a  factory  for  grinding  bearings,  and  a  carpentry  and  glazing 
shop.    An  auto-laundry  otcupies  the  old  church  building. 

This  area  is  a  comparatively  short  distance  from  the  "Loop."  In  real 
estate  parlance  it  is  known  as  "close-in"  property.  A  former  president  of 
the  Chicago  Real  Estate  Board  stated  that  a  large  part  of  this  "close-in" 
property  depreciated  because  of  its  change  from  residential  to  commercial 
property.  He  mentioned  Prairie  and  Calumet  avenues,  north  of  Thirty-first 
Street — which  includes  the  block  studied.  The  depreciation,  he  asserted,  was 
also  due  to  the  "departure  of  many  owners  of  costly  homes  to  other  districts." 

With  the  city's  growth,  transportation  became  an  increasingly  influential 
factor.  The  automobile  made  it  easy  to  reach  the  business  center  from 
outlying  and  suburban  regions.  It  thus  became  less  desirable  to  live  near  the 
"Loop,"  particularly  as  such  districts  are  susceptible  to  changes  that  may 
quickly  destroy  an  exclusive  residence  district. 

The  rapidly  developing  automobile  industry  gravitated  very  largely  to 
this  part  of  the  South  Side.  Its  salesrooms,  shops  for  the  sale  of  accessories, 
and  kindred  business  places  spread  along  Michigan  Avenue  from  Twelfth  to 
Thirty-fifth  street.  Michigan  Avenue  is  only  two  blocks  west  of  Prairie 
Avenue  and  one  block  west  of  Indiana  Avenue.  Garages,  repair  shops, 
welding  factories,  and  the  like  accompanied  this  invasion,  and  spread  into 
adjoining  streets.  For  instance,  on  an  Indiana  Avenue  comer  a  large  eight- 
story  factory  was  built  immediately  adjoining  the  rear  of  a  handsome  Prairie 
Avenue  residence,  and  a  one  and  one-half  story  garage  and  repair  shop  was 
built  in  the  rear  of  2900  Prairie  Avenue.  Just  northeast  of  the  block  are 
factories  and  breweries  with  their  noise,  smoke,  and  heavy  traffic;  and  from 
the  west  and  south  Negroes  have  recently  been  approaching— long  after  these 
other  factors  were  operating. 

A  peculiar  fact  about  the  property  in  this  block  and  northward  on  Prairie 
Avenue  is  that  the  lots  are  long  and  narrow,  and  the  houses  are  built  to  the 


side  lines.  These  lots,  when  threatened  with  encroachment  by  factories  and 
the  automobile  industry,  lost  their  residence  value  but  did  not  easily  take  on 
a  new  industrial  value  because  they  were  individually  owned  and  it  required 
several  lots  to  make  a  suitable  industrial  site.  The  owners,  though  not  desiring 
to  live  there,  were  yet  loath  to  sell  as  cheaply  as  the  individual  strip  sales  would 
make  necessary.  And  no  investor  would  buy  a  single  lot  for  industrial  pur- 
poses unless  certain  of  getting  two  or  three  others  adjoining. 

In  1910  land  values  on  Prairie  Avenue  between  Twenty-sixth  and  Twenty- 
eighth  streets  were  $250  a  front  foot;  and  from  Twenty-ninth  to  Thirtieth 
streets,  $200;  on  Indiana  Avenue  between  Twenty-sixth  and  Twenty-eighth 
streets,  $200,  and  between  Twenty-ninth  and  Thirtieth  streets  $175.  In  1920, 
however,  values  had  dropped  on  Prairie  Avenue  to  $60  a  front  foot  while  on 
Indiana  Avenue,  a  semi-business  street,  they  were  $150  and  $180.'  Negroes 
first  moved  into  the  block  on  Prairie  Avenue  between  Thirtieth  and  Thirty- 
first  streets  about  191 7,  though  very  few  lived  there  at  the  time  of  the  inquiry 
in  1920.  In  1919  they  purchased  an  abandoned  church  in  this  block  which 
at  one  time  was  valued  at  $125,000. 

To  summarize  the  results  of  this  investigation  of  depreciation:  Negro 
occupancy  depreciates  the  value  of  residence  property  in  Chicago  because  of 
the  prejudice  of  white  people  against  Negroes,  and  because  white  people  will 
not  buy  and  Negroes  are  not  financially  able  to  buy,  at  fair  market  prices 
property  thrown  upon  the  market  when  a  neighborhood  commences  to 
change  from  white  to  Negro  occupancy;  nevertheless  a  large  part  of  the 
depreciation  of  residence  property  often  charged  to  Negro  occupancy  comes 
from  entirely  different  causes. 



An  important  factor  in  the  housing  problem  is  the  low  security  rating 
given  by  real  estate  loan  concerns  to  property  tenanted  by  Negroes.  Because 
of  this  Negroes  are  charged  more  than  white  people  for  loans,  find  it  more 
difi&cult  to  secure  them,  and  thus  are  greatly  handicapped  in  efforts  to  buy  or 
improve  property.  The  general  opinion  that  condemns  such  property  makes 
the  risk  poor,  even  for  Negroes.    A  Chicago  Trust  Company  representative  said : 

A  Negro  called  to  buy  a  mortgage.  Our  first  thought  was  to  submit  to  him  one 
of  the  colored  loans,  which  we  did.  We  showed  him  a  photograph;  he  liked  the 
appearance  of  the  building,  and  then  he  inquired,  "Is  this  anywhere  near  the  colored 
district?"  He  declined  the  loan  on  that  account,  showing  that  this  uneasiness  is 
not  confined  to  the  white  investor. 

When  districts  become  exclusively  Negro  this  reluctance  to  invest  or  to 
lend  invariably  appears.    If  there  are  sufficient  Negroes  with  money  to  create 
'  Olcott's  "Land  Value  Maps,"  1910  and  1920. 


a  market  the  loss  is  somewhat  reUeved.  Yet,  deprived  of  the  usual  facilities 
for  purchasing  a  home,  they  camiot  reUeve  their  housing  shortage  and  are 
forced  to  seek  houses  in  unfriendly  neighborhoods. 

The  factors  are  similar  to  those  in  depreciation,  often  based  on  prejudices 
and  erroneous  beliefs  concerning  Negroes.  Whatever  depreciates  real  estate 
necessarily  depresses  its  security  value — whether  the  cause  be  fact  or  opinion. 
A  South  Side  bank  had  difficulty  in  selling  Negro  loans  to  white  Jjeople  because 
"  they  say  they  don't  keep  up  the  property;  they  let  it  deteriorate;  they  don't 
improve  it."    The  representative  of  another  bank  said: 

I  don't  believe  you  could  find  enough  colored  people  who  coidd  make  a  substantial 
first  payment.  There  are  a  few  that  I  have  talked  with  recently  who  are  on  the 
police  force,  who  wanted  to  know  how  we  could  help  them  out  in  buying  places.  One 
had  in  mind  the  purchase  of  a  three-flat  building;  the  price  was  around  eight  or  nine 
thousand  dollars.  There  was  a  first  mortgage  on  it  of  about  five.  He  had  only 
$300  cash  to  buy  it  with. 

A  former  president  of  the  Chicago  Real  Estate  Board  said: 

The  percentage  of  Negro  people  in  Chicago  who  will  buy  homes  is  comparatively 
small.  The  best  evidence  we  have  is  that  85  per  cent  of  the  white  people  are  tenants; 
I  s  per  cent  of  them  are  home  owners.  It  follows,  I  think,  that  a  smaller  percentage  of 
the  colored  race  wiU  buy  homes,  not  more  than  from  3  to  5  per  cent  of  the  colored 
people  at  the  present  time. 

A  representative  of  a  very  large  South  Side  realty  business  said:  "There  are 
ever  so  many  mortgage  men  not  famihar  with  the  colored  belt.  That's  one 
of  their  greatest  reasons  for  refusing  the  loans — they  are  not  familiar  with  the 

Real  estate  men,  white  and  Negro,  were  invited  to  present  their  views, 
and  leading  mortgage-loan  houses  and  banks  of  the  city  were  asked  what  they 
knew  about  Negroes  as  borrowers,  investors,  tenants,  and  clients,  and  their 
thrift  and  care  of  property.  Their  testimony,  with  the  Commission's  investi- 
gations, yielded  a  fairly  accurate  picture. 


The  first  house  in  Chicago  was  a  rude  cabin  built  by  a  Negro  in  1790. 
There  were  several  Negro  home  owners  when  the  city  was  incorporated  in 
1837.  The  first  Negroes  to  settle  near  Thirtieth  Street — ^long  before  the  city 
had  extended  its  limits  that  far — owned  their  homes.  Although  prior  to  1916 
most  Negroes  did  not  own  homes,  there  were  many,  especially  business  and 
professional  men,  who  had  gradually  acquired  dweUiugs.  The  migration 
brought  thousands  of  Negroes  with  ready  cash  who  found  it  easy  to  buy  dwell- 
ings on  the  South  Side.  The  xmcomfortable  and  inadequate  dwelliugs  of  the 
"Black  Belt"  could  be  avoided  only  by  the  purchase  of  property  elsewhere. 
Attention  thus  was  directed,  probably  for  the  first  time,  to  the  question  of  home 


buying  by  Negroes.  Indeed  home  owning  is  an  essential  feature  of  any  solu- 
tion of  their  housing  difficulties. 

Until  the  migration  Chicago's  Negroes  had  engaged  chiefly  in  personal- 
service  occupations  that  governed  somewhat  the  location  of  their  homes; 
when  these  were  not  in  the  "Black  Belt"  they  were  in  shabby  property  in 
undesirable  streets  near  their  employment.  Men  who  worked  on  dining-  and 
sleeping-cars  lived  near  the  railroad  stations — on  State  and  Dearborn  streets, 
Plymouth  Place,  and  the  surrounding  neighborhood;  they  were  generally 
renters  and  moved  southward  with  the  general  trend. 

Home  buying  stimulated  by  high  wages  and  the  migration. — ^The  war  brought 
wages  to  the  Negroes  that  seemed  fabulous  to  many;  and  the  wages  brought 
the  migration.  The  first  migrants  were  mostly  drifters.  Then  came  a  great 
many  who  had  acquired  considerable  substance  in  the  South,  and  having  sold 
out  they  came  to  Chicago  with  ready  money,  in  some  instances  large  amounts. 
This  class  of  Negroes  bought  dwellings.  Several  of  them  bought  apartment 
buildings,  said  a  real  estate  dealer,  and  in  one  instance  the  buyer  paid  $10,000 
in  cash;  and  there  were  very  many  who  were  able  and  ready  to  pay  from  $1,000 
to  $3,000  on  the  purchase  of  a  residence  in  a  respectable  neighborhood. 
Another  dealer  said  that  he  was  not  able  to  supply  the  buying  demand: 
"We  have  put  renters  on  the  side  list;  buyers  are  taking  up  the  time.  We 
used  to  think  $500  a  good-sized  payment  for  them,  but  now  they  often  have 
$3,000,  $4,000,  or  $6,000.  A  Negro  customer  lately  wanted  a  twelve-flat  build- 
ing and  would  pay  cash." 

"The  average  newcomer  is  a  home-owner,"  said  another  realty  dealer; 
"he  has  sold  his  home  in  the  South  to  come  here.  Some  say  the  high  wages 
are  not  attracting  them  so  much  as  better  schools." 

Another  dealer  said  that  the  average  amount  per  family  brought  from  the 
South  was  from  $300  to  $500,  and  he  knew  of  one  family  that  brought  $6,000. 

It  was  the  experience  of  another  firm  that  three  or  four  years  ago  Negro 
purchasers  paid  down  about  $500,  but  that  now  (1920)  they  frequently  make 
first  payments  of  $1,000  or  more. 

This  sudden  wave  of  home  buying  impressed  Carl  Sandburg,  who  wrote 
(1919)  in  the  Chicago  Daily  News: 

Twenty  years  ago  fewer  than  fifty  families  of  the  colored  race  were  home  owners 
in  Chicago.  Today  they  number  thousands,  their  purchases  ranging  from  $200  to 
$20,000,  from  tar  paper  shacks  in  the  still  district  to  brownstone  and  greystone  estab- 
lishments with  wealthy  or  well-to-do  white  neighbors.  In  most  cases,  where  a  colored 
man  has  iuvestments  of  more  than  ordinary  size,  it  is  in  large  part  in  real  estate. 
Realty  iavestment  and  management  seems  to  be  an  important  field  of  operation 
among  those  colored  people  who  acquire  substance. 

Several  other  factors  contributed  to  this  house-buying  movement.  One 
was  that  Hyde  Park  had  many  available  houses  in  the  early  years  of  the  war, 
while  the  Negro  was  excluded  from  the  market  west  of  Wentworth  Avenue, 


with  its  smaller  and  less  expensive  houses,  by  the  vigorous  antagonism  of  the 
Irish  and  other  people  living  there.  The  southern  Negroes  were  glad  to  find 
that — at  first,  anyway — access  was  not  denied  them  to  districts  having  good 
schools,  churches,  recreation  and  amusements,  and  convenient  transportation 
facilities.  This  feeling  was  reflected  in  their  purchase  of  churches;  two  of 
these,  one  on  Washington  Boulevard  and  one  on  Prairie  Avenue,  are  in  dis- 
tricts of  extensive  home  buying  by  Negroes. 

The  high  war  wages  contributed  to  home  buying.  Though  in  many 
instances  they  induced  extravagant  expenditures,  a  surplus  remained  for  many, 
and  with  the  frugal  the  savings  were  large. 

High  rents  were  another  primary  contribution.  Many  of  the  ambitious 
newcomers  figured  that  they  could  buy  a  house  for  about  the  same  monthly 
amounts  required  for  rent.  In  many  instances  they  thriftily  contrived  to 
make  the  property  pay  for  itself.  Two-  and  three-flat  buildings  would  furnish 
a  family  with  a  home  while  providing  a  considerable  revenue  from  the  rented 
flats.  When  old-fashioned  houses  too  large  for  one  family  were  bought, 
lodgers  and  boarders  were  often  taken.  Frequently  wife  and  children  added  to 
the  family  income  so  that  they  might  own  a  home. 

A  real  estate  dealer  in  Hyde  Park  said:  "The  Negro  has  purchased 
90  per  cent  of  the  property  where  he  lives,  and  75  per  cent  of  these  are  'high- 
class  colored  men.'"  This  estimate  is  too  high,  but  it  shows  the  impression 
made  by  the  large  number  of  Negro  home  buyers. 

An  inquiry  in  two  blocks  on  Prairie  and  Forest  avenues  disclosed  that 
40  per  cent  of  the  Negroes  living  on  Prairie  Avenue  were  property  owners, 
in  the  intervening  block  on  Thirty-seventh  Street  over  90  per  cent  were  owners, 
while  on  Forest  Avenue  the  Negro  property  owners  were  few. 

In  1920  the  School  of  Civics  canvassed  a  small  area  occupied  by  Negroes  in 
the  district  west  of  State  Street,  a  district  where,  because  of  their  low  economic 
status,  they  would  not  be  expected  to  buy.  Of  331  families,  thirty,  or  10  per 
cent,  were  owners,  and  all  but  one  had  been  owners  for  from  four  to  twenty 
years,  so  that  they  had  not  been  influenced  by  the  migration. 

Of  the  impression  made  by  the  home-buying  migrants  a  very  intelligent 
Negro  real  estate  dealer  said,  referring  to  the  Chicago  Negroes: 

I  will  dare  say  that  go  per  cent  or  even  a  greater  number  did  not  own  their  prop- 
erty. They  rented.  It  seems  there  has  been  a  different  spirit  instilled  into  the 
northern  colored  man.  We  bow  to  the  southern  man  because  he  is  a  home  owner. 
The  northern  man  was  satisfied  to  rent.  I  was  bom  in  Chicago  and  felt  the  same  as 
others  do. 

The  present  trend  was  mdicated  in  these  statements  of  two  well-informed 
white  real  estate  dealers  on  the  South  Side :  "The  colored  people  are  demanding 
homes  and  the  tendency  is  to  buy";  and  that  Negroes  were  continuing  to 
buy  homes  in  the  district  between  Thirty-ninth  and  Forty-seventh  streets, 
Cottage  Grove  Avenue  and  State  Street,  more  sales  being  made  to  Negroes  in 


that  particular  location  than  in  any  other.  And  this  has  been  during  a  period 
of  acute  and  general  housing  famine  in  every  large  city. 

Methods  0}  purchase. — When  Negroes  first  began  to  buy  dwellings  during 
the  migration  years,  the  average  price  was  $4,000  to  $5,000,  and  the 
initial  payment,  usually  $500,  ranged  from  $300  to  $1,000.  The  time  for 
payment  was  ordinarily  three  years,  though  some  contracts  were  for  five 
years.  Later  on  Negroes  began  to  buy  houses  or  apartment  buildings  running 
as  high  as  $8,000  or  $10,000,  and  the  payments  were  increased  proportionately. 

That  the  Negro  assumed  a  heavy  load,  sometimes  more  than  he  could 
reasonably  be  expected  to  carry,  was  the  opinion  of  several  careful  observers. 
While  the  surplus  from  his  wages  might  be  expected  to  cover  the  monthly 
payments,  money  for  taxes,  repairs,  and  insurance  would  have  to  come  from 
the  wages  of  wife  or  children,  or  from  lodgers. 

In  April,  1920,  when  work  at  high  wages  was  abundant,  a  well-informed 
Negro  real  estate  dealer  said  that  any  Negro  family  head  could  then  assume 
payments  of  from  $40  to  $55  a  month  on  purchased  property.  But  many 
Negroes  made  contracts  calling  for  monthly  pajonents  of  $65  to  $75. 

The  opinions  of  experienced  persons  in  close  touch  with  the  situation  were 
divided  as  to  whether,  in  making  such  purchases,  Negroes  had  assumed  too 
heavy  obligations.  One  said  his  long  experience  showed  that  Negroes  carry 
out  what  they  undertake  to  do;  that  very  few  default  on  their  payments,  and 
when  Negroes  buy  on  the  instalment  plan  "  they  pay  out  better  than  the  whites 
do,  as  a  rule." 

Another  said,  though  Negroes  buy  only  old  properties — and  generally 
pay  more  than  white  people — they  are  careful  in  assxuning  their  obligations 
and  make  their  pa3anents  promptly.  They  pay  down  to  the  mortgage,  in 
from  three  to  five  years,  and  sometimes  within  two  years. 

Another,  who  has  been  dealing  with  Negroes  smce  1907,  gave  his  opinion 
that  they  undertake  their  obligations  seriously,  and  as  instalment  buyers  of 
property  they  are  entirely  satisfactory. 

Still  another  South  Side  man  who  sells  real  estate  to  Negroes  declared  that 
he  had  been  getting  better  payments  recently  than  he  did  three  or  four  years 
ago;  in  1914,  1915,  and  1916  he  suffered  considerable  loss  because  of  defaults 
in  pa3anents  on  purchases  or  in  rents. 

A  former  president  of  the  Chicago  Real  Estate  Board  remarked  that 
Negroes  buy  but  do  not  build  their  houses,  and  are  not  yet  sufficiently  numer- 
ous to  create  a  market  for  real  estate;  that  white  people  will  not  buy  back 
property  once  occupied  by  Negroes;  that,  as  the  mmibers  of  Negroes  increase, 
this  situation  might  be  changed,  but  that  the  Negro  who  tries  to  sell  old  prop- 
erty, on  which  he  has  put  no  improvements,  wUi  rarely  find  a  buyer,  because 
there  is  so  much  old  property  available. 

Certain  banks  and  loan  firms  thought  there  would  be  a  general  foreclosure 
of  mortgages  on  recently  purchased  property  as  they  fell  due,  that  the  Negroes 


are  carrying  such  heavy  payments  on  their  contracts  that  they  cannot  reduce 
their  mortgages  and  consequently  renewals  will  be  denied;  that  the  Negro  has 
not  yet  acquired  sufficient  stability  to  carry  on  payments  over  a  long  term  of 
years,  and  if  wage  reductions  become  general  they  wiU  fall  most  heavily  on 
unskilled  workers  and  render  difficult  the  meeting  of  payments  by  such  Negroes, 
who  constitute  the  great  majority. 

Most  of  the  firms  that  had  dealings  with  Negroes,  whether  as  buyers, 
borrowers,  or  renters,  expressed  satisfaction  with  their  transactions  with  them. 
Typical  of  their  comments  was  that  of  John  A.  Schmidt,  who  found  Negroes 
to  be  prompter  than  Jews  in  making  payments,  and  of  Milton  Yondorf,  who 
said  that  Negroes,  like  the  Italians,  finish  paying  for  one  house  before  under- 
taking to  buy  another,  and  are  eager  to  make  the  final  payment. 

While  the  preponderance  of  opinion  was  that  the  Negroes  do  meet  their 
payments,  it  may  be  that  experience  is  stiU  too  limited  in  Chicago  and  condi- 
tions have  thus  far  been  too  abnormal  to  afford  the  basis  for  final  judgment  and 
future  policy. 

The  first  wave  of  buying  by  Negroes  was  stimulated  by  both  Negro  and 
white  real  estate  agents  because  many  dwellings  had  been  unremunerative  for 
several  years.  With  the  tightening  up  of  the  real  estate  market  that  ensued, 
Negroes  became  home  hunters,  and  they  are  continuing  to  search. 

There  has  been  a  wide  variation  in  the  prices  paid  by  Negroes  for  dwellings. 
For  some  houses  Negroes  have  undoubtedly  paid  more  than  could  have  been 
obtained  from  a  white  purchaser.  One  dealer's  opinion  was  that  the  Negroes 
have  paid  full  value.  Another  said  that  the  Negro  never  pays  higher  for 
property  unless  the  price  is  measured  by  what  has  been  paid  for  it  by  white 
persons  of  the  "fourth  class" — ^referring  to  property  that  has  descended  from 
the  original  owner  through  three  classes  of  whites  before  coming  into  Negro 
hands.  Many  purchases  during  the  last  two  or  three  years  have  been  made 
direct  from  the  owners.  An  attempt  made  by  white  real  estate  men  to  come 
to  an  agreement  regarding  sales  in  new  districts — whereby  they  would  turn 
over  to  Negro  agents  all  inquiries  as  to  blocks  where  Negroes  already  lived,  and 
Negro  agents  would  not  place  Negroes  in  exclusively  white  districts — ^was 


The  most  formidable  stumbling-block  in  the  way  of  home  owning  by 
Negroes  is  the  unsalability  of  their  mortgages.  Except  in  a  limited  field  these 
loans  have  no  market.  The  Negro  demand  for  home  property  has  become 
so  large  in  recent  years  that  the  search  for  it  has  extended  beyond  the  fringes 
of  the  main  existing  districts  on  the  South,  West,  and  North  sides  into  the  out- 
lying territory  adjoining  Negro  settlements  in  Blue  Island,  Woodlawn,  Morgan 
Park,  and  Robbms.  How  the  Negro  is  to  be  financed  in  his  effort  to  improve 
his  citizenship  and  home  Ufe  through  home  ownership  thus  becomes  a  matter 
of  great  concern. 


The  Commission  sought  to  leam  from  banks,  trust  companies,  brokerage 
firms,  and  similar  institutions  their  experience  with  Negro  clients  and  property 
and  their  purpose  and  plans  as  to  future  dealings.  To  thirty  such  institutions 
questionnaires  were  sent,  and  twenty-three  gave  careful  replies. 

Only  a  few  real  estate  fijms  that  have  a  large  number  of  Negro  clients 
have  funds  available  for  such  loans.  These  meet  but  a  small  part  of  the  de- 
mand. The  three  banks  that  have  large  Negro  deposits,  the  Lincoln  State,  the 
Franklin  State,  and  Jesse  Binga's,  make  such  loans  when  deemed  desirable,  but 
they  seem  not  a  large  factor  in  relieving  the  loan  situation.  Many  of  the 
banks  that  are  depositories  for  Negroes'  funds  do  not  make  loans  to  them, 
giving  as  theur  reason  that  they  do  not  lend  on  the  class  of  property  purchased 
by  Negroes.  Some  of  them  have  no  real  estate  department.  Only  three 
of  the  downtown  investment  bankers  make  no  restrictions  regarding  Negro 
borrowers  that  are  not  common  to  all;  they  have  dealt  with  Negro  clients  for 
many  years  and  have  found  them  entirely  satisfactory.  Possibly  one  reason 
for  this  is  that  they  educate  their  buyers  of  mortgages  concerning  the  value  of 
these  loans;  and  thus  have  succeeded,  they  say,  in  overcoming  many  objec- 
tions based  upon  race  prejudice. 

Most  large  real  estate  firms  and  loan  companies  decline  to  make  loans  on 
property  owned  or  occupied  by  Negroes.  With  some  of  them  this  is  a  blanket 
provision  that  covers  generally  property  in  changing  or  depreciated  districts. 
Difficulty  of  disposing  of  such  mortgages  is  one  of  the  commonest  reasons 
given  for  refusing  to  handle  them. 

Even  among  the  agencies  that  handle  such  loans  opinion  is  not  unanimous 
on  fundamental  points  involved.  The  Commission  asked  several  brokers 
representing  large  interests  this  question:  "Does  your  experience  indicate 
that  loans  up  to  50  per  cent  of  the  valuation  on  property  in  the  residence 
districts  from  Twenty-sixth  to  Sixtieth  streets  and  from  State  Street  to  the  lake 
have  a  saf e-and-sound  investment  value  ? ' '  Among  those  favorable  to  Negroes 
the  answer  of  Yondorf  &  Company,  a  downtown  firm,  is  perhaps  typical: 
It  is  necessary  to  consider  each  house  separately,  as  conditions  vary  widely; 
consideration  must  be  given  to  future  uses  of  the  property,  the  present  condi- 
tion of  the  improvements,  and  especially  the  stability  of  the  person  asking  for 
the  loan.  As  a  general  rule,  loans  on  old  residence  property  are  not  as  good 
as  those  on  houses  in  new  districts;  on  an  old  house  about  $1,000  would  be 
loaned  on  a  market  value  of  $5,000,  whereas  in  new  districts  the  contractor  can 
borrow  up  to  two- thirds  of  the  cost  of  the  house;  no  conscious  discrimination 
is  made  in  the  nature  of  higher  rates  because  a  borrower  happens  to  be  a  Negro; 
careful  consideration  is  given  to  the  margin  of  safety,  and  safeguards  are 
arranged  in  the  way  provided  for  payments. 

Lionel  Bell,  another  downtown  loan  broker,  regarded  this  general  type  of 
mortgages  on  old  residence  property  as  fully  secured,  and  does  not  hesitate  to 
recommend  mortgages  in  the  district  mentioned. 


John  A.  Schmidt,  who  handles  a  large  number  of  loans  on  Negro  property 
in  that  district,  considers  them  of  high  value,  though  the  risks  are  both  physical 
and  moral;  it  is  essential  to  know  both  the  client  and  the  property;  the  amount 
of  the  loan  asked  on  Negro  property  usually  is  not  high  as  compared  with  its 
value.  No  distinction  is  made  as  to  the  color  of  the  borrower,  the  condition 
and  value  of  the  property  being  the  only  basis  for  the  loan;  loans  to  Negroes 
are  less  in  amount  than  to  whites,  though  clients  thus  far  accepted  are  com- 
monly found  satisfactory;  the  period  of  payment  is  about  the  same,  var3dng 
between  three  and  five  years,  according  to  the  amount  paid  monthly,  the  kind 
of  property  involved,  and  so  on.  The  usual  range  of  amounts  requested  was 
one-third  to  one-half  of  the  value  of  the  property. 

R.  M.  O'Brien  &  Company,  an  active  South  Side  real  estate  firm  which 
also  deals  largely  ia  Negro  mortgages,  found  that  the  average  amount  loaned 
to  Negroes  was  smaller,  and  that  it  is  a  smaller  percentage  of  the  value  of  the 
property  than  in  the  case  of  loans  to  whites,  and  that  the  average  period  for 
loans  to  Negroes  was  three  years. 

Mead  &  Coe,  another  real  estate  firm,  foimd  that  the  Negroes  usually  are 
allowed  $i,ooo  to  the  white  man's  $1,500;  that  only  35  per  cent  of  the  value 
of  the  property  is  loaned  to  the  Negro,  whereas  50  per  cent  is  granted  to  whites. 
Maximum  time  of  loan  was  five  years  for  the  white  and  three  years  for  the  Negro. 

The  Chicago  Trust  Company  answered  that  the  same  requirements  were 
made  of  white  and  Negro;  the  range  was  from  $2,000  to  $6,000,  Umited  to  50 
per  cent  of  conservative  valuation,  and  five  years. 

In  general  it  was  foimd  that  property  values  in  the  districts  where  Negroes 
usually  buy  are  affected  by  more  factors  than  is  the  property  in  districts  where 
whites  usually  buy.  Where  Negroes  are  buying  the  majority  of  white  people 
are  renting. 

It  was  sought  to  find  out  whether  Negroes  ask  for  renewals  more  often  than 
do  white  borrowers;  whether  there  was  any  marked  difference  between  Negroes 
and  other  racial  groups  in  the  promptness  of  making  payments,  in  asking  for 
additional  time,  in  the  difficulty  of  collections,  and  in  compelling  foreclosure. 
Comparison  of  Negroes  and  whites  was  found  to  be  difficult  because  of  differ- 
ences between  various  nationalities  as  to  repaying  loans.  The  Poles  pay 
promptly  when  dealing  through  loan  companies  or  banks  conducted  by 
Poles.  The  Italians  are  eager  to  get  their  property  cleared.  Jews  are  likely 
to  ask  for  renewals  and  to  expect  the  property  to  pay  the  mortgage  out  of 
eammgs.  The  Negroes  pay  if  they  can,  but  sometimes  have  difficulty  because 
they  have  arranged  heavy  pa3nnents  on  their  contracts;  during  the  period  of 
high  wages  there  has  been  little  trouble,  but  the  feeling  was  that  as  yet  there 
had  been  no  real  test.  Speaking  generally,  a  representative  of  Yondorf  & 
Company  said  it  was  estimated  that  only  about  25  per  cent  of  working  people 
are  thrifty  and  save  anything;  75  per  cent  save  nothing;  and  that  proportion 
holds  true  of  the  Negroes. 


Firms  that  deal  with  Negroes  ask  for  no  larger  reduction  when  a  Negro 
renews  his  loan,  they  say,  than  when  a  white  person  renews  if  the  character  of 
the  property  is  the  same.  The  facts  as  to  the  reliability,  character,  and  stand- 
ing of  the  borrower  are  established  when  the  loan  is  first  made.  Negroes  buy 
old  properties  where  deterioration  is  rapid,  and  when  the  renewal  is  asked  the 
value  of  the  property  has  fallen  in  proportion.  White  persons  do  not  buy  the 
same  class  of  property.  So  it  is  necessary  to  ask  the  Negro  to  reduce  his 
mortgage  considerably,  except  when  his  property  is  in  a  location  of  newer 
houses,  such  as  Morgan  Park  or  Woodlawn. 

Difficulty  is  experienced  by  mortgage  bankers  and  brokers  in  selling  Negro 
mortgages  to  white  cUents.  Yondorf  &  Company  declared  that  whUe  their 
old  clients  would  buy  regardless  of  the  color  of  the  borrower,  others  had  to  be 
convinced  of  the  value  of  the  property  and  of  the  earning  power  and  stability 
of  the  Negro  borrower.  The  Negro  mortgages  are  usually  for  smaller  amounts 
and  hence  within  the  reach  of  small  iavestors.  When  white  investors  find 
that  Negroes'  loans  are  promptly  paid  they  continue  to  buy  such  securities. 

Lionel  Bell  reported  some  difficulty  in  selling  Negro  mortgages  to  white 
clients,  though  he  generally  succeeded,  by  showing  their  value  and  by  inspec- 
tion, that  the  Negroes  were  keeping  their  houses  in  good  condition  as  to  both 
sanitation  and  repair. 

E.  A.  Cummings  &  Company  have  difficulty  in  selling  such  mortgages 
because  many  of  their  clients  are  out-of-town  buyers  who  are  suspicious  of 
Negro  property. 

E.  and  S.  Lowenstein  find  no  market  for  such  loans;  non-resident  buyers 
and  even  local  buyers  fight  shy  of  Negro  property  in  particular,  and  property 
in  general  that  is  undesirable  because  of  overcrowding  and  consequent  hard  usage 

In  general,  the  refusals  to  buy  Negro  loans  are  due  to  feeling  against  the 
Negro,  a  disbelief  in  the  Negro's  ability  to  pay  them,  and  distrust  of  the  old 
properties  which  Negroes  commonly  buy.  The  opinion  was  general  that  any- 
thing which  would  tend  to  stabilize  values  on  the  South  Side,  especially  in 
the  lower  part  of  the  district  occupied  by  Negroes,  would  be  desirable;  that 
improvements  such  as  the  widening  of  South  Park  Avenue  would  aid  materially. 

Real  estate  men  who  have  Negroes  for  clients  are  finding  it  advantageous 
to  educate  them  in  the  meaning  of  mortgages,  ia  the  method  of  issuing  and 
renewing  them,  and  in  what  is  expected  of  the  mortgagor  and  what  the  mort- 
gagor may  expect.  When  the  Negro  is  carefully  informed  of  the  processes 
iuvolved  in  financing  the  purchase  of  a  home,  and  the  terms  are  thoroughly 
understood,  there  is  much  less  likelihood  of  losing  his  property.  Friendly 
real  estate  men  are  constantly  helping  Negroes  to  carry  their  mortgages  and  to 
find  means  of  renewing  when  that  contingency  arises.  It  is  helpful  also  to 
remind  Negroes  of  the  necessity  of  paying  their  taxes  and  meeting  other  obliga- 
tions promptly,  and  of  keeping  their  property  in  good  condition.  Some  firms 
stated  that  the  "natural  honesty  of  the  Negro  and  his  love  of  home  life"  have 


been  fostered  by  thoughtful  friends  and  leaders,  as  well  as  by  those  who  have 
busmess  transactions  with  him.    This  pays  dividends  in  better  citizenship. 

Widening  the  market  for  Negro  loans. — The  white  people  need  to  know  the 
obstacles  in  the  path  of  the  Negro  who  wishes  to  establish  a  good  home  for 
his  family  and  thus  improve  his  citizenship  and  serve  as  a  good  example  to 
others  of  his  race.  How  to  finance  Negro  home  buyers  is  a  large  difficulty  in 
solving  the  Negro  housing  problem.  The  Commission  held  a  conference 
devoted  almost  entirely  to  this  topic,  at  which  various  experts  and  authorities 
were  consulted.  It  was  sought  to  ascertain  the  fundamentals  for  meeting  the 
needs  of  the  future,  assuming  that  the  Negro  population  in  Chicago  is  likely 
to  continue  in  normal  growth,  and  that  the  demand  for  adequate  housing  for 
the  Negro  population  is  not  likely  to  lessen  for  several  years.  Particular 
attention  was  given  to  the  question  of  how  a  market  might  be  created  for  the 
Negro's  loans. 

An  appraiser  for  the  Fort  Dearborn  National  Bank  suggested  that  a  system 
involving  partial  payments  represented  by  $25  bonds  paying  semiannual 
interest  might  be  helpful.  Bonds  of  such  low  denominations  might,  he  thought, 
be  purchased  by  Negroes.  By  such  a  system  Negroes  would  leam  to  invest 
their  money  wisely,  and  by  putting  money  into  substantial  securities  would 
encourage  real  estate  investments.  These  securities  could  be  sold  by  Negro 
bankers  and  real  estate  brokers.  But  he  expressed  confidence  that  not  a  few 
white  people  would  buy  bonds  of  that  character.  They  would  be  based  on 
about  60  per  cent  of  the  value  of  the  property. 

One  real  estate  broker  averred  that  success  in  financing  Negro  home  buyers 
would  be  contingent  upon  creating  definite  districts  in  any  portion  of  the  city 
where  the  colored  men  may  find  it  necessary  to  live  in  order  to  be  able  to  reach 
their  business  or  their  place  of  employment,  districts  to  be  known  as  their 
exclusive  territory.  Then  it  would  be  possible  to  go  to  a  mortgage  loan  house 
and  present  a  definite  case  when  a  mortgage  falls  due.  Knowing  that  the 
property  was  that  of  a  Negro,  and  knowing  the  district,  one  would  have  a 
definite  basis  for  estimating  future  increase  or  depredation  of  value.  It  was 
his  opinion  that  white  people  would  support  a  market  of  that  nature,  because 
it  would  not  only  protect  the  colored  man  and  the  white  man  alike  but  all  of 
the  property  interests  of  the  city.  He  disclaimed  any  desire  to  promote 
segregation.  But  he  maintained  that  so  long  as  the  races  mixed,  clashes  were 
inevitable,  and  that  the  problem  of  selling  Negro  loans,  erecting  houses,  and 
renewing  mortgages  would  solve  itself  under  this  plan,  "because  white  men 
will  be  very  glad  to  come  to  the  assistance  of  colored." 

It  happens,  however,  that  some  subdivisions  developed  "especially  for 
Negroes"  present  low  standards  as  well  as  exploitation.  One  such  sub- 
division is  called  Lilydale.    An  investigator  reported  on  it  as  follows: 

Lilydale  is  on  a  flat  prairie  and  was  laid  out  as  a  subdivision  for  Negro  residents 
near  the  comer  of  Ninety-fifth  and  State  streets  several  years  ago.    It  is  about  five 


blocks  square.  The  developer  is  a  prominent  white  real  estate  dealer  active  in  sub- 
division property  generally.  Another  well-known  real  estate  man,  who  is  also  a 
prominent  local  politician,  is  interested  in  establishing  a  Negro  colony  on  this  property. 
The  latter  is  agent  for  a  great  deal  of  property  on  the  South  Side  tenanted  by  Negroes. 

Many  Negroes  purchased  lots  in  LUydale  at  fairly  high  prices,  considering  that 
virtually  no  improvements  had  been  made  to  the  property.  Water  has  since  been 
laid  in  some  of  the  streets  and  some  of  them  are  supplied  with  sewers,  but  there  is 
no  paving  and  no  lighting.  Sidewalks  are  few,  mud  holes  many.  Yards,  streets, 
and  alleys  are  unkempt. 

Those  who  promoted  the  subdivision  set  up  the  shells  of  a  few  houses,  mainly  of 
the  bungalow  type.  Most  of  these  were  sold  and  the  inside  finish  was  supplied  by 
the  purchasers.  Most  of  these  sale  houses,  though,  remain  unfinished.  The  building 
of  houses  in  Lilydale  has  been  half-hearted,  and  most  of  the  structures  are  so  poorly 
constructed  that  they  are  conspicuously  uncomfortable.  Some  of  these  were  built  by 
piecemeal  with  any  kind  of  waste  building  material  that  could  be  gathered.  The 
people  in  this  isolated  community  apparently  are  making  the  best  of  a  hopeless  situa- 
tion. They  express  a  desire  to  recover  the  money  they  have  invested.  Provisions 
are  obtained  from  two  or  three  small  stores.  There  is  a  church  in  the  vicinity,  but 
at  the  time  of  the  investigation  no  services  were  being  held  in  it.  The  children  attend 
a  branch  of  the  Bumside  School,  which  is  conveniently  located.  The  teacher  is  a 
Negro  woman,  a  graduate  of  a  southern  normal  school.  She  reported  that  there  is 
apparently  no  prejudice  between  the  white  and  Negro  children;  that  their  only  differ- 
ences are  those  to  which  all  children  fall  heir.  She  regards  the  Negro  colony  of  Lily- 
dale  as  a  bad  mistake  and  would  discourage  other  Negroes  from  making  purchases 
there.    She  regards  the  investment  there  as  of  doubtful  value. 

There  is  a  car  line  on  Ninety-fifth  Street  which  connects  with  the  industries  of 
South  Chicago,  where  a  number  of  the  men  of  Lilydale  are  employed. 

Adding  to  the  loneliness  of  the  general  aspect  is  the  fact  that  most  of  the  surround- 
ing area  is  stiU  what  is  termed  "acreage." 

Pertinent  also  is  the  statement  of  a  man  who  for  years  has  been  interested 
in  the  housing  difficulties  of  Negroes. 

Some  people  have  suggested  taking  a  vacant  piece  of  property  and  building  it  up 
for  colored  occupancy,  but  there  is  the  biggest  hubbub  raised  when  any  such  attempt 
is  made.  People  complain:  "You  wUl  ruin  this  whole  neighborhood!  You  will  ruin 
the  street  car  line!  Everything  out  in  that  neighborhood  wiU  be  ruined  all  along  the 
street,  because  if  you  bmld  up  a  colored  neighborhood  in  any  one  particular  location 
nobody  else  wiU  want  to  go  out  that  way."  So  that  I  have  come  to  the  point  where 
I  say  there  is  no  solution.  I  can't  do  anything.  I'd  have  been  willing  to  put  in  a 
million  doUars  in  property  anywhere  where  there  would  have  been  a  chance  to  get 
S  per  cent  return  on  my  money.  There  isn't  any  use  in  doing  a  thing  that  isn't  eco- 
nomically sound.  I  wanted  to  bring  this  up  to  show  that  I  had  given  it  some  thought, 
and  that  I  am  very  desirous  of  having  somebody  make  a  suggestion  that  is  feasible 
so  that  something  can  be  done. 

The  difficulty  of  disposing  of  loans  in  a  district  inhabited  by  Negroes  was 
touched  upon  by  a  loan  expert  from  the  Chicago  Trust  Company,  which  handles 


such  loans.  The  trouble,  he  thought,  centers  on  the  character  of  the 
property  and  of  the  district,  rather  than  on  the  fact  that  the  property  happened 
to  be  owned  or  occupied  by  Negroes.  He  said  that  even  Negro  investors 
object  to  property  in  such  a  district  for  the  reason  that  it  is  old,  little  in  demand, 
and  generally  a  poor  risk.  He  suggested  the  possibility  of  small  mortgage 
bond  issues  with  separate  notes.  This  would  save  the  expense  of  printing  the 
bonds,  which  is  considerable  at  present  prices,  and  the  investor  would  be 
afforded  the  same  security.  He  also  suggested  having  "baby"  bonds  printed 
in  standard  form,  so  that  they  could  be  simply  filled  in,  thus  saving  expense. 

Another  real  estate  broker  who  had  dealt  in  mortgages  of  South  Side 
Negroes  for  a  number  of  years  declared  that  the  average  mortgage  buyer  seems 
to  prefer  those  on  new  bungalows  where  the  margin  of  security  is  less' than 
that  on  property  in  the  Negro  district.  Since  the  bungalow's  cost  of  construc- 
tion was  less,  the  chance  of  revenue  under  adverse  circumstances  would  be 
less.  He  maintained  that  a  ten-  or  twelve-room  apartment  house  in  the 
Second  Ward  (South  Side)  affords  a  better  margin  of  security  than  the  ordinary 
cheap  bungalow,  and  that  it  was  therefore  a  question  of  educating  mortgage 
buyers  on  the  question  of  security.  The  best  evidence  on  this,  he  maintained, 
would  be  the  number  of  foreclosures.  He  had  never  had  to  foreclose  with 
Negroes  in  the  fifteen  years  of  his  experience.  In  that  time  only  two  contracts 
had  been  forfeited,  both  because  of  disputes  between  the  heirs  and  the  buyers. 
His  firm  had,  however,  made  new  contracts  when  illness  or  other  adverse 
circumstances  had  halted  payments,  thus  allowing  the  buyers  to  start  over 
again.  Means  had  also  been  taken  to  see  that  buyers  paid  their  taxes,  in 
which  process  they  had  required  education.  White  people  must  be  depended 
upon  to  buy  the  Negro's  loans.  Very  few  Negroes  buy  loans.  Their  tendency, 
he  said,  is  to  invest  in  a  home  earUer  in  their  career  than  the  white  people,  and 
they  buy  as  soon  as  they  have  accumulated  enough  to  make  the  initial 

According  to  a  bank  appraiser's  opinion  Negroes  do  not  understand  values, 
and  they  are  often  led  to  purchase  a  building  at  much  more  than  its  worth. 
In  consequence  the  amount  of  loans  they  need  is  much  greater  than  it  ought 
to  be.  He  had  not  found,  however,  that  the  Negroes  allow  their  property  to 
deteriorate  unduly.  A  different  situation  had  been  found  where  white  people 
lease  to  Negroes. 

According  to  some  real  estate  dealers,  there  are  cases  where  houses  are 
allowed  to  deteriorate,  where  the  payment  has  been  larger  than  the  purchaser 
could  carry  conveniently.  But  "after  he  has  taken  care  of  the  payment  and 
has  his  deed,  he  will  give  attention  to  the  improvement  of  the  house."  Others 
agreed  that  the  Negro  mortgage  debtor  is  quite  as  reliable  as  a  white  debtor 
of  the  same  class. 

The  president  of  the  Cook  County  Real  Estate  Board  suggested  that  one 
means  of  creating  a  market  for  Negro  loans  would  be  the  passage  of  the  "Home 


Loan  Bank  Bill."  Its  provisions  are  that  no  loan  would  be  made  in  excess  of 
$S,ooo,  but  loans  would  be  made  up  to  80  per  cent  of  the  fair  value  of  the 
property.  Many  of  the  loan  houses,  he  declared,  do  not  consider  small  loans, 
a  fact  confirmed  by  the  Commission.  He  cited  one  house  that  will  not  consider 
a  loan  of  less  than  $500,000.  For  this  reason  he  suggested  that  this  business 
should  be  handled  by  the  building  and  loan  associations,  since  they  do  business 
on  a  smaller  margin  of  operating  cost  and  he  regarded  them  as  the  proper 
media  for  finding  suitable  markets  for  Negro  mortgages. 

Involved  in  the  plan  for  funding  the  Negro's  loans  was  the  question  of 
segregation.  It  has  been  maintained  that  not  much  financing  could  be  expected 
from  white  people  unless  boundaries  were  allotted  to  the  Negroes,  so  that 
investors  in  loans  would  know  definitely  what  to  expect.  Opinions,  of  course, 
differed  on  segregation.  It  was  admitted  that  a  spreading  out  of  the  Negro 
population  in  Chicago  is  to  be  expected,  that  Negroes  can  hardly  be  expected 
to  remain  in  the  districts  in  which  they  have  hitherto  virtually  segregated 
themselves.  But  the  opinion  was  also  given  that  their  tendency  is  to  remain 
among  and  near  their  own  people. 


The  chief  concern  of  investors,  brokers,  and  real  estate  dealers  is  as  to  the 
ability  of  Negroes  to  meet  obUgations.  There  is  a  common  beUef,  not  shaken 
even  by  the  satisfactory  experiences  of  those  who  have  dealt  with  them,  that 
Negroes  have  no  financial  resources,  and  are  thriftless  and  improvident.  Inas- 
much as  a  large  part  of  the  present  housing  difficulty  hinges  upon  this  point, 
the  Commission  made  inquiries  as  to  the  thrift  of  Negroes.  A  group  of  large 
banks  in  the  "Loop"  and  in  neighborhoods  of  Negro  residents  were  asked  to 
give  their  experiences  with  Negroes  as  depositors  and  investors.  In  spite  of 
contrary  opinion  it  appears  that  the  resources  of  Negroes  in  Chicago  are 
astonishingly  large.  In  the  summer  of  1920  in  one  of  the  South  Side  banks 
operated  by  white  men  Negroes  had  deposits  of  $750,000.  One  banker  told  of  a 
Negro  banker  who  sold  among  the  Negroes  a  bond  issue  of  $150,000  on  an  old 
building  on  Wabash  Avenue,  paying  solicitors  10  per  cent  commission  to  make 
sales.  The  savings  deposits  in  his  bank  recently  had  grown  very  materially. 
It  was  his  experience  that  only  a  few  Negroes  buy  bonds.  They  only  inquire 
casually  about  them. 

The  sales  manager  for  bonds  at  a  large  savings  bank,  however,  told  of  the 
sale  of  $3,000  worth  of  bonds  to  a  Negro  woman  who  paid  for  them  from"  a  roll 
of  bills  of  $ro  to  $50.  Another  "downtown"  broker  told  of  a  Negro  porter 
in  a  "Loop"  hotel,  who  recently  loaned  $6,000  through  his  firm. 

The  information  as  to  Negro  deposits,  sought  by  the  Commission,  was 
provided  by  seven  trust  and  savings  banks,  three  state  banks,  two  national 
banks,  and  one  trust  company.  These  were  able  to  isolate  and  check  up  their 
Negro  deposits.    One  of  the  banks  had  $1,500,000  on  deposit  for  Negroes; 


another  $1,000,000.  Still  another  had  4,000  Negro  depositors.  A  state  bank 
had  $650,000  on  deposit  for  Negroes,  another  $150,000  and  one  of  the  national 
banks  had  $47,000. 

The  average  deposits  of  the  Negroes  are  not  so  large  as  those  of  all  the 
depositors.  The  comparison,  however,  reveals  a  fair  porportion  when  it  is 
considered  that  there  are  many  very  large  individual  depositors  and  business 
houses  among  the  whites.    This  is  how  the  amounts  run,  by  institutions: 

Average  Individual  Savings  Balance  Aveiage  Individual  Balance 

(White'and  Negro  Combined)  (Negroes  Only) 

$125.00  $  50.00 

108.88  66.76 

545- 00  332.00 

400.00  200.00 

120.00  60.00 

235.00  100.00 

125.00  10.00 

196.00  105.00 

186.82  300.00 

230.00  186.00 

It  was  the  almost  unanimous  report  that  Negroes  are  more  likely  to  with- 
draw their  accounts  than  are  white  people,  that  their  accounts  are  less  perma- 
nent. In  two  instances  only  was  the  opinion  expressed  that  they  were  about 
the  same  with  both  races. 

Accompanying  the  questionnaire  to  banks  was  a  list  of  questions  concerning 
real  estate  loans.  One  of  these  was:  "Does  your  bank  make  loans  to  Negroes 
on  real  estate,  collateral,  commercial  paper,  or  personal  notes  ?"  AU  except  one 
of  the  trust  and  savings  banks  replied  in  the  affirmative.  One  of  the  state 
banks  buys  commercial  paper  on  proper  security,  but  not  real  estate  loans 
because  of  the  difficulty  in  selUng  them.  One  of  the  national  banks  buys 
commercial  or  collateral  paper  on  its  merits,  without  regard  to  color.  Indeed, 
it  appears  that  no  color  line  is  drawn  in  this  line  of  business  except  by  the 
few  institutions  that  decline  aU  loans  to  Negroes. 

In  general  it  was  found  that  the  Negroes  are  showing  strong  tendencies  to 
open  bank  accounts,  that  they  are  steadily  improving  in  the  amoimt  of  deposits 
made,  in  the  steadiness  of  their  accounts,  and  in  thrift  in  general.  However, 
it  appears  that  in  only  a  few  of  the  banks  are  they  welcomed  and  in  most  of 
them  they  are  only  tolerated.  In  banks  located  in  neighborhoods  in  which 
Negroes  live  there  is  an  amazing  number  of  Negro  depositors,  who  receive, 
as  a  rule,  friendly  advice  and  help  in  their  financial  transactions.  Thus 
Negroes  are  taught  banking  formalities,  while  thrift  is  encouraged,  and  a 
good  spirit  is  developed  among  the  white  employees  toward  Negro  depositors. 
In  some  instances,  however,  Negroes,  like  their  white  brothers,  show  suspicion 
of  banking  institutions  when  they  have  suffered  losses. 


It  appears  also  that,  in  addition  to  the  growing  desire  to  invest  in  homes 
of  their  own,  Negroes  are  showing  a  strong  tendency  to  engage  in  business 
ventures.  They  are  developing  insurance  companies,  co-operative  stores, 
retail  stores  of  various  kinds,  and  kindred  enterprises. 

Negroes'  lack  of  opportunities  for  banking  experience. — In  order  to  carry 
forward  successfully  their  business  undertakings  Negroes  need  practical 
personal  experience  and  training  in  banking  and  financial  methods.  Yet  there 
is  a  strong  tendency  to  bar  Negroes  from  emplo3mient  in  banks,  except  as 
porters  or  in  some  unskilled  capacity,  and  they  are  thus  denied  the  experience 
needed  in  solving  financial  problems  among  their  own  race. 

Bankers  were  asked:  "If  Negroes  competent  to  learn  practical  banking 
were  available,  could  you  employ  them?"  Here  are  some  of  the  condensed 

1.  Other  employees  would  refuse  to  co-operate  with  them  and  associate  with 

2.  They  are  not  reliable  as  a  rule. 

3.  Do  not  think  so. 

4.  Yes. 
5-  No. 

6.  We  have  no  objections  beyond  the  fact  that  93  per  cent  of  our  depositors  are 
white;  consequently  we  would  not  care  to  employ  colored  tellers  or  clerks  in  handling 
their  business. 

7.  We  could  not  have  them  in  clerical  positions. 

8.  In  a  general  way  we  feel  that  the  employment  of  Negroes  by  banking  institu- 
tions would  cause  trouble  with  certain  classes  of  our  depositors. 

9.  Very  difficult  to  work  white  and  colored  in  same  office  or  cages.  White 
customers  prefer  to  have  white  clerks  wait  upon  them. 

10.  Clerks  who  were  antagonistic  to  Negroes  would  bring  about  constant  diffi- 
culties through  the  misplacing  of  papers,  mistakes,  etc.,  which  would  seem  to  be  the 
fault  of  the  Negroes. 

11.  Have  found  that  a  Negro  wUl  appear  to  be  strictly  honest  for  a  period  of 
years  and  then  turn  aroxmd  and  prove  not  to  be. 

12.  Our  section  of  the  city  is  entirely  white,  but  with  a  fear  of  colored  invasion. 
There  is,  therefore,  a  strong  prejudice  against  them.  We  have  only  about  half  a 
dozen  accounts  with  colored  people.  Two  of  these  are  in  the  savings  department 
and  are  maintained  with  large  balances.  These  two  customers  are  thrifty  and  care- 
fvil  with  their  money.    The  others  are  not. 

13.  In  former  years  a  bank  position  was  eagerly  sought  and  considered  excep- 
tionally good.  At  present,  because  of  higher  salaries  which  can  be  offered  by  concerns 
which  make  greater  earnings  than  banks  and  can  therefore  pay  more,  the  banks  are 
not  getting  the  same  high  grade  of  employees.  With  the  former  class  it  would  have 
been  possible  to  appeal  to  their  sense  of  duty  to  help  educate  the  Negroes  and  to 
overcome  prejudice.  With  present  conditions  it  is  not  likely  that  this  appeal  would 
have  the  same  effect,  and  prejudice  against  Negroes  would  make  trouble  in  our  routine. 

14.  Social  factors  enter.  For  instance,  banks  often  have  dinners  or  other  events 
for  or  among  their  employees.    No  "Loop"  hotel  would  put  on  an  affair  for  whites 


and  Negroes.    There  is  also  the  difl&culty  of  washrooms,  and  lockers,  etc.,  where 
prejudiced  employees  could  make  a  great  deal  of  trouble. 

It  would  seem,  then,  that  there  is  not  much  chance  for  the  hundreds  of 
intelligent  Negro  high-school  and  college  graduates  in  Chicago  to  obtain  a 
practical  education  in  banking  methods  through  direct  experience.  Banks 
owned  by  Negroes  are  few  and  smaU,  and  there  is  scarcely  any  opportunity  to 
obtain  similar  experience  in  Negro  building  and  loan,  insurance,  and  other 
companies,  which  are  also  limited  in  number. 



Contacts  of  whites  and  Negroes  in  the  North  and  South  differ  according 
to  the  institutions  and  traditions  of  the  sections  in  which  they  have  been  reared. 
In  the  South  relations  are  fixed  and  generally  understood,  although  Negroes 
consider  the  institutions  on  which  these  relations  are  based  oppressive  and 
consistently  oppose  them.  There  the  "color  line"  is  drawn  rigidly  without 
reference  to  the  desires  or  comfort  of  Negroes  or  the  free  expression  of  their 
citizenship  privileges.  Because  it  is  nearer  than  the  North  to  the  institution 
of  slavery,  the  South  still  maintains  an  almost  patriarchal  relationship  with 
its  Negro  population.  Small  communities,  the  plantation  system,  and  the 
great  numbers  of  Negroes  in  domestic  service  hold  the  two  races  steadily  in 
contacts  so  close  that  class  as  well  as  race  lines  are  maintained  with  deliberate- 
ness  and  persistence.  Even  where  there  are  no  laws  specifically  regulating 
association  of  the  races,  the  sentiment  of  the  community  is  enforced,  frequently 
in  disregard  of  existing  general  laws.  Thus  Negroes  may  not  eat  in  a  restaurant 
with  whites,  sit  ia  adjoining  seats  in  a  theater,  Uve  in  the  same  neighborhoods, 
work  together  on  the  same  jobs,  or  attend  the  same  schools. 

In  northern  communities  the  institutions  are  more  liberal  and  with  few 
exceptions  there  are  no  restrictive  laws  applying  specifically  to  racial  associa- 
tion. In  fact,  the  trend  of  legislation  and  of  court  decisions  is  strongly  toward 
adopting  and  enforcing  general  regulations  without  regard  to  race  or  color. 
Relations  are  less  personal,  contacts  are  wider  and  more  frequent. 

From  a  very  simple  organization  of  relations  in  the  South,  Negroes  are 
transported  to  more  complex  relations  based  on  more  elaborate  urban  distribu- 
tion of  responsibilities.  Thus  it  happens  that  whites  and  Negroes  in  Chicago 
may  be  found  working  together  in  industry,  riding  together  on  street  cars, 
attending  the  same  schools,  sharing  political  activities,  with  an  increasing 
number  of  Negroes  holding  public  office,  transacting  business  in  banks,  stores, 
and  real  estate,  competing  in  athletics  in  public  schools,  colleges,  and  the 
Y.M.C.A.,  and  conferring  on  social  problems  in  civic  and  reform  clubs. 

The  increasing  number  of  these  contacts  cannot  fail  to  influence  the  neces- 
sary adjustments.  The  general  public  seems  to  accept  necessary  contacts 
with  a  minimum  of  outward  friction,  as  is  shown  by  thousands  of  daily  contacts. 
Each  contact,  however,  where  there  is  friction,  is  a  focus  of  comment,  antago- 
nism, resentment,  prejudice,  or  fear.  But  association  in  such  places  as  hotels, 
restaurants,  barber  shops,  dance  halls,  and  theaters  is  often  limited  by  tradition 
and  custom  in  the  North  as  strictly  as  by  regulation  in  the  South. 




The  legal  status  of  Negroes  in  Illinois  differs  in  no  respect  from  that  of 
white  persons.  The  limitations  which  affect  Negroes  are  established  through 
rules  imposed  by  persons  who  offer  public  services  and  accommodations. 
When  these  rules  are  unfair,  evasive,  or  even  illegal,  they  can  be  enforced  only 
because  of  non-enforcement  of  existing  laws.  Federal  and  state  courts  are 
in  accord  in  holding  Negro  men  and  women  in  Illinois  to  be  citizens  of  the 
United  States  and  of  the  commonwealth,  protected  by  the  laws  against  dis- 
crimination or  oppression  on  account  of  their  race  or  color. 

There  are  two  lines  of  decisions  in  Illinois  relating  to  discriminations  on 
account  of  color.  One  line  of  cases  prohibits  discrimination  in  certain  public 
places  and  the  other  prohibits  discrimination  against  school  children.  All  but 
two  of  these  cases  were  tried  since  the  passage  of  the  School  Act  and  the  Civil 
Rights  Act,  prohibiting  such  discrimination,  enacted  in  1874  and  1885,  respec- 
tively. The  civil-rights  cases'  are  briefly  reviewed  below  by  a  consideration 
of  the  school  cases. 


The  Civil  Rights  Act,  originally  passed  in  1885,  was  amended  in  1903, 
and  again  in  1911.    Section  i  of  this  act  now  provides: 

That  all  persons  within  the  jurisdiction  of  said  State  of  Illinois  shall  be  entitled 
to  the  fuH  and  equal  enjoyment  of  the  accommodation,  advantages,  facilities  and 
privileges  of  inns,  restaurants,  eating  houses,  hotels,  soda-fountains,  saloons,  barber 
shops,  bathrooms,  theaters,  skating  rinks,  concerts,  cafes,  bicycle  rinks,  elevators, 
ice-cream  parlors  or  rooms,  railroads,  omnibuses,  stages,  street  cars,  boats,  funeral 
hearses,  and  public  conveyances  on  land  and  water,  and  all  other  places  of  public 
accommodation  and  amusement,  subject  only  to  the  conditions  and  limitations 
established  by  law  and  applicable  alike  to  all  citizens;  nor  shall  there  be  any  dis- 
crimination on  account  of  race  or  color  in  the  price  to  be  charged  and  paid  for  lots 
or  graves  in  any  cemetery  or  place  for  burying  the  dead,  but  the  price  to  be  charged 
and  paid  for  lots  in  any  cemetery  or  place  for  burying  the  dead  shall  be  applicable 
alike  to  aU  citizens  of  every  race  and  color. 

Section  2  provides: 

That  any  person  who  shall  violate  any  of  the  provisions  of  the  foregoing  section 
by  denying  to  any  citizen,  except  for  reasons  applicable  alike  to  all  citizens  of  every 
race  and  color  and  regardless  of  color  or  race,  the  full  enjoyment  of  any  accommoda- 
tions, advantages,  facilities  or  privileges  in  said  section  enumerated  or  by  aiding  or 
inciting  such  denial,  shall  for  every  such  offense  forfeit  and  pay  a  sum  not  less  than 
$25  nor  more  than  $500  to  the  person  aggrieved  thereby,  to  be  recovered  in  any  court 

'Civil-rights  cases  are:  Williams  v.  Chicago  6*  Northwestern  Railroad  Co.,  55  111.  185; 
Baylies  v.  Curry,  128  lU.  287;  Cecil  v.  Green,  161  III.  265;  People  v.  Forest  Home  Cemetery 
Co.,  258  111.  36;  Grace  v.  Moseley,  H2  111.  App.  100;  Dean  v.  Chicago  &•  N.W.  R.R.  Co.,  183 
111.  App.  317;  Thorne  v.  Alcazar  Amusement  Co.,  210  111.  App.  173;  White  v.  Pasfidd,  212 
m.  App.  73- 


of  competent  jurisdiction  in  the  county  where  said  offense  was  committed,  and  shall 
also  for  every  such  offense  be  deemed  guilty  of  a  misdemeanor,  and  upon  conviction 
thereof,  shall  be  fined  not  to  exceed  $500  or  shall  be  imprisoned  not  more  than  one 
year  or  both;  and  provided  further,  that  a  judgment  in  favor  of  the  party  aggrieved, 
or  punishment  upon  an  indictment,  shall  be  a  bar  to  either  prosecution  respectively. 

Anna  William  v.  Chicago  &°  Northwestern  Railway  Company  (55  111.  185) — 
the  first  case  of  color  discrimination  which  reached  the  supreme  court  of 
Illinois — ^was  heard  in  1870,  before  the  passage  of  the  Civil  Rights  Act.  The 
court  decided  that  a  railroad  company  could  not  exclude  a  Negro  woman  on 
account  of  her  color  from  a  certain  car  reserved  for  the  use  of  ladies.  The 
evidence  showed  that  the  brakeman  had  refused  to  permit  the  Negro  woman 
to  enter  the  "ladies'  car"  and  pushed  her  away.  The  jury  awarded  her 
$200  damages,  which  the  court  upheld  as  reasonable. 

Before  the  Amendment  of  1903,  the  Civil  Rights  Act  of  1885  provided 
that  all  persons  should  be  entitled 

to  the  full  and  equal  enjoyment  of  the  accommodation,  advantages,  facilities  and 
privileges  of  inns,  restaurants,  eating  houses,  barber  shops,  public  conveyances  on 
land  or  water,  theaters,  and  all  other  places  of  public  accommodation  and  amusement, 
subject  only  to  the  conditions  and  limitations  established  by  law  and  appUcable 
alike  to  all  citizens. 

In  1896,  in  Cecil  v.  Green  (60  111.  App.,  61 ;  afl&rmed,  161  lU.  265),  the  court 
decided  that  the  expression  "all  other  places  of  public  accommodation" 
embraced  only  places  of  the  same  general  character  as  those  enimierated, 
and  therefore  that  soda  fountains  were  not  included  within  the  general  term. 

The  amendment  of  1903  included  soda  fountains,  saloons,  bathrooms, 
skating  rinks,  concerts,  bicycle  rinks,  elevators,  and  ice-cream  parlors. 

In  Baylies  v.  Curry  (30  111.  App.  105;  afi&rmed,  128  lU.  36),  decided  in 
1889,  a  Negro  woman,  after  being  refused  tickets  at  the  box-office  of  Curry's 
Theater,  had  a  white  woman  purchase  two  tickets  for  her  in  the  balcony. 
Upon  attempting  to  use  them,  the  Negro  woman  and  her  husband  were  referred 
back  to  the  box-office  and  their  money  returned.  The  proprietor  introduced 
evidence  to  show  that  his  theater  was  Ln  a  bad  neighborhood,  and  he  had, 
therefore,  adopted  the  rule  of  reserving  certain  rows  for  Negroes  in  each 
section  of  the  house.  The  supreme  court,  in  affirming  judgment  for  $100 
damages,  said:  "Beyond  all  question,  the  Civil  Rights  Act  prohibits  the 
denial  of  access  to  the  theater  and  to  the  several  circles  or  grades  of  seats 
therein,  because  of  race  or  color." 

In  1903,  in  Grace  v.  Moseley  (112  lU.  App.  100),  it  was  held  that  the  statute 
imposes  liability  only  where  the  defendant  denies  or  incites  a  denial  of  service, 
not  where  he  merely  fails  to  provide  service. 

The  amendment  of  191 1  provided  that  there  should  not  be  any  discrimina- 
tion on  account  of  race  or  color  in  the  price  charged  for  lots  or  graves  in  any 


Relying  upon  this  provision,  Gaskill,  a  Negro,  applied  for  a  writ  of 
mandq,mus  to  compel  the  Forest  Home  Cemetery  Company  to  receive  the 
body  of  his  wife  for  burial  {People  ex  rel.  Gaskill  v.  Forest  Home  Cemetery 
Company,  258  111.  36,  1913).  The  cemetery  company  had  passed  a  resolution 
in  1907  that  thereafter  the  cemetery  would  be  maintained  for  the  burial  of 
white  persons  only — except  that  colored  persons  owning  lots  in  the  cemetery, 
and  their  direct  heirs,  should  be  admitted  for  burial.  Gaskill  did  not  own 
a  lot  in  the  cemetery,  but  four  of  his  children  had  been  buried  there  fifteen  to 
twenty  years  before  in  single  graves  separated  from  each  other;  and  when  he 
applied  in  191 2  for  space  for  the  burial  of  his  wife,  the  company  refused  per- 
mission solely  on  account  of  her  color. 

The  court  held  that  the  1911  amendment  did  not  prohibit  a  cemetery 
corporation,  which  did  not  have  the  power  of  eminent  domain  under  its  charter 
and  which  had  no  monopoly  of  the  burial  places  in  its  vicinity,  from  making 
and  enforcing  a  rule  excluding  colored  persons  from  burial  in  its  cemetery. 
The  case  was  taken  on  writ  of  error  to  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United  States 
(238  U.S.  606),  but  the  writ  was  dismissed  for  want  of  jurisdiction  without 
further  comment. 

In  Dean  v.  Chicago  &•  Northwestern  Railway  Company  (183  111.  App.  317; 
1913),  Dean,  a  Negro,  recovered  damages  of  $300  from  the  railway  company 
for  its  refusal  to  allow  him  to  ride  in  a  station  elevator  because  of  his  color.' 


The  first  school  case  was  decided  in  1874,  before  there  was  any  statute 
forbidding  discrimination  against  Negro  children  in  the  public  schools.'  In 
Chase  v.  Stephenson  (71  lU.  383;  1874)  a  taxpayer  filed  a  biU  to  enjoin  the 
directors  of  a  school  district  from  maintaining  a  separate  school  for  Negro 
children;  and  the  court  held  that  the  directors  had  no  authority  to  discriminate 
on  accoimt  of  color,  and  the  separate  school  was  enjoined. 

^  White  V.  Pas fidd,  212  111.  App.  73;  1918.  A  Negro  filed  a  biU  in  equity  to  enjoin  the 
lessees  of  a  public  pavilion  and  swimming-pool  from  excluding  him  therefrom.  It  was  held 
that  a  court  of  equity  had  no  jurisdiction  to  enjoin  such  a  violation  of  the  Civil  Rights  Act, 
but  left  the  party  to  his  statutory  remedies  of  either  an  action  for  damages  or  criminal  prose- 

Thorne  v.  Alcazar  Amusement  Company,  210  111.  App.  173,  1918,  was  an  action  to  recover 
the  penalty  provided  by  the  Civil  Rights  Act  for  refusing  to  permit  a  Negro  woman  to  occupy 
a  theater  seat  for  which  she  had  purchased  a  ticket.  Judgment  in  favor  of  the  plaintiff  in 
the  municipal  court  was  reversed  in  the  appellate  court  on  the  ground  that  the  municipal 
court  had  no  jurisdiction  to  impose  penalties  for  criminal  acts  occurring  outside  the  city 

"  School  cases  in  Illinois  are  as  follows:  Chase  v.  Stephenson,  7 r  111.  383;  People  v.  Board 
of  Education  of  Quincy,  loi  111.  308;  People  v.  McFall  and  Board  of  Education  ofQuincy, 
26  III.  App.  319,  affirmed,  124  lU.  642;  People  v.  Board  of  Education  of  Upper  Alton  School 
District,  I2'!  m.  613;  Bibb  v.  Mayor  of  Alton,  i7gl\l.  615;  193  111.  309;  209  111.  461;  221  HI. 
27s;  233  111-  S42. 


In  March,  1874,  "An  Act  to  Protect  Colored  Children  in  Their  Rights  to 
Attend  Public  Schools"  was  passed  which  provided: 

That  all  directors  of  schools,  boards  of  education,  or  other  school  officers,  whose 
duty  it  now  is  or  may  be  hereafter  to  provide  in  their  respective  jurisdictions  schools 
for  the  education  of  all  children  between  the  ages  of  six  and  twenty-one  years,  are 
prohibited  from  excluding  directly  or  indirectly  any  such  child  from  such  school  on 
account  of  the  color  of  such  child. 

Two  school  cases  have  since  arisen  at  Quincy,  Illinois.  The  first,  decided 
in  1882  {People  ex  rel.  Longress  v.  Board  of  Edtication  of  Quincy,  loi  111.  308), 
was  a  quo  warranto  proceeding,  attacking  a  regulation  of  the  school  board, 
requiring  all  Negro  children  to  attend  one  school,  and  excluding  them  from  all 
others.  The  court  held  that  the  laws  of  Illinois  prohibited  such  discrimination 
and  the  board  was  without  authority  to  make  the  regulation. 

In  the  second  Quincy  case,  decided  in  1888  {People  v.  McFall  and  Board 
of  Education  of  Quincy  26  111.  App.  319;  affirmed,  124  111.  642),  the  petition  for 
quo  warranto  charged  that  the  Board  of  Education  had  continued  the  illegal 
discrimination  against  Negro  children  ever  since  the  decision  in  the  first  case. 
The  petition  was  supported  by  a  number  of  affidavits  of  Negroes.  After  a 
full  hearing  on  affidavits  and  counter-affidavits  the  trial  court  denied  the 
petition.  The  appellate  court  affirmed  the  judgment,  characterizing  the 
affidavits  in  support  of  the  petition  as  "vague  and  unsatisfactory";  and  the 
supreme  court  affirmed  the  judgment. 

Quincy  has  fourteen  schools,  and  the  School  Board  has  divided  the  city  into 
four  school  districts.  The  Lincoln  School  is  exclusively  a  Negro  school  and  is 
the  only  school  in  the  district  in  which  most  of  the  Negroes  live.  All  white 
children  in  that  district  are  transferred  to  other  schools,  and  the  few  Negro 
children  outside  the  Lincoln  district  are  urged  to  attend  the  Lincoln  School. 
The  Negro  teachers  and  Negro  principal  of  the  Lincoln  School  are  paid 
higher  salaries  than  other  teachers  in  Quincy,  and  are  told  that  if  they 
wish  to  maintain  themselves  in  the  Quincy  schools,  they  must  persuade  Negro 
children  in  other  districts  to  attend  the  Lincoln  School.  In  this  way  the  board 
has  succeeded  in  confining  Negro  children  with  few  exceptions  to  the  Lincoln 
School.  Yet  some  Negroes  are  attending  five  other  schools,  including  the 
high  school. 

There  have  also  been  two  school  cases  from  Alton,  lUinois.  The  first 
case  was  People  v.  Board  of  Education  of  Upper  Alton  (127  lU.  613),  decided 
in  1889.  This  was  a  proceeding  by  mandamus,  begun  in  the  supreme  court 
by  John  Peair,  to  compel  the  Board  of  Education  to  admit  his  two  children  to 
the  high  school  of  Upper  Alton.  Certain  issues  of  fact  were  certified  to  the 
circuit  court  for  trial  by  jury.  The  jury  returned  a  general  verdict  in  favor 
of  the  Board  of  Education,  notwithstanding  the  foUowiug  special  findings 
in  answer  to  questions  asked  by  the  relator,  John  Peair: 


Q.:  When  application  was  made  ....  to  the  principal  in  charge  of  the  said 
building  on  behalf  of  relator's  two  children  for  permission  to  attend  school  in  said 
building,  was  such  permission  refused  by  said  principal  because  said  children  were 
colored  ? 

A.:  Yes. 

Q.:  Have  not  the  children  of  relator,  John  Peair,  been  excluded  from  attending 
school  in  said  high  school  building  by  the  defendants  on  account  of  the  color  of  said 
children  ? 

A.:  Yes. 

The  supreme  court  held  that  the  general  verdict  in  favor  of  the  Board  of 
Education  was  "so  manifestly  the  result  of  misdirection  by  the  court  as  to  be 
entitled  to  no  consideration,"  and  a  writ  of  mandamus  was  ordered. 

The  second  school  case  from  Alton,  though  begun  in  1899,  was  not  finally 
decided  until  1908.  This  was  a  petition  for  mandamus  filed  in  the  supreme 
court  by  Scott  Bibb  to  compel  the  mayor  and  city  council  of  Alton  to  admit 
his  children  to  the  Washington  School  which  they  had  been  attending,  and  from 
which  he  alleged  they  were  excluded  on  account  of  color  and  were  transferred 
to  a  school  attended  only  by  Negro  children.  The  supreme  court  certified  the 
case  to  the  circuit  court  of  Madison  County  for  the  trial  of  certain  issues  of 
facts.  Before  the  supreme  court  finally  ordered  the  mandamus  to  issue  in 
1908  the  case  had  been  tried  by  a  jury  seven  times,  had  been  before  the  supreme 
court  five  times,  and  the  Bibb  children  were  grown  up.  It  is  interesting  as  a 
flagrant  example  of  race  prejudice  in  the  trial  judge  and  jury. 

In  this  case  (People  ex  rel.  Scott  Bibb  v.  Mayor  and  Common  Council  of  Alton, 
233  lU.  542)  the  supreme  court  said: 

The  issues  in  this  case  have  been  tried  seven  times  by  juries  in  the  circuit  court, 
and  in  two  of  them  the  jury  disagreed.  Upon  the  first  trial  where  there  was  a  verdict 
it  was  in  favor  of  the  respondents,  and  it  was  certified  to  this  court.  That  verdict 
was  set  aside  for  manifest  error  prejudicial  to  the  relator  in  rulings  of  the  court  in 
the  admission  of  evidence.  (People  ex  rel.  v.  Mayor  and  Common  Council  of  Alton, 
1 79  111.  615.)  There  was  another  trial  resulting  in  a  verdict  in  favor  of  the  respondents, 
which  was  set  aside  on  account  of  a  misdirection  of  the  court  in  submitting  to  the  jury 
a  question  of  law.  (People  ex  rel.  v.  Mayor  and  Common  Council  of  Alton,  193  lU. 
309.)  Upon  another  trial  there  was  a  third  verdict  in  favor  of  the  respondents, 
which  this  court  set  aside  because  clearly  contrary  to  the  facts  proved  and  without 
any  support  in  the  evidence.  It  was  proved  at  that  trial,  beyond  dispute  or  contro- 
versy, that  the  respondents  were  guilty  of  the  charge  contained  in  the  petition,  and 
the  evidence  introduced  by  them  had  no  tendency  to  prove  that  the  mtention  clearly 
manifested  by  their  acts  did  not  exist.  The  verdict  could  only  be  accounted  for  as 
a  product  of  passion,  prejudice  or  hostihty  to  the  law.  (People  ex  rel.  v.  Mayor  and 
Common  Council  of  Alton,  209  111.  461.)  The  attorney  for  relator  then  urged  that  a 
peremptory  writ  should  be  awarded  on  the  ground  that  the  evidence  m  the  record 
clearly  showed  the  relator  to  be  entitled  to  it.  The  relator,  however,  had  not  requested 
the  circuit  court  to  direct  a  verdict  in  his  favor,  and  it  was  said  that  if  such  a  motion 
had  been  made  the  court  would  doubtless  have  granted  it.    The  court  said  that  the 


issues  were  sent  to  the  circuit  court  for  trial  in  conformity  with  the  practice  governing 
the  trial  of  issues  of  fact  in  actions  at  law  before  a  jury,  and  it  was  not  deemed  advis- 
able, in  the  existing  condition  of  the  record,  to  set  aside  that  order.  The  case  was 
sent  back  for  another  trial,  and  upon  the  next  trial  the  attorney  for  relator  moved 
the  court  to  direct  a  verdict  in  his  favor,  and  this  the  court  refused  to  do,  assigning 
as  a  reason  that  this  court  had  directed  that  the  issues  be  submitted  to  another  jury. 
The  excuse  was  so  shallow  and  baseless  as  to  justify  a  conclusion  that  it  was  a  mere 
pretext  to  evade  a  compliance  with  the  law  as  declared  by  this  court,  and  the  verdict 
was  set  aside  and  the  circuit  court  directed,  in  the  trial  of  the  questions  of  fact,  to 
proceed  in  accordance  with  the  opinion  then  filed  and  the  earlier  opinions  in  the  case. 
{People  ex  rel.  v.  Mayor  and  Common  Council  of  Alton,  221  111.  275.)  The  case  has 
been  again  tried,  and  a  verdict  in  favor  of  the  respondents,  unsupported  by  any 
evidence,  has  been  returned  to  this  court.  The  evidence  was  to  all  intents  and 
purposes  the  same  as  upon  the  former  trials,  and  demonstrated,  beyond  the  possibility 
of  a  doubt,  that  the  children  of  relator  were  excluded  from  the  Washington  School, 
which  was  the  most  convenient  of  the  pubUc  schools  of  the  city  to  which  they  had  the 
right  to  be  admitted,  and  that  the  exclusion  was  solely  on  account  of  their  race  and 
color,  and  for  no  other  reason  whatever.  The  evidence  for  the  respondents  that 
nothing  was  said  about  schools  or  colored  children  by  the  mayor  and  council  in 
changing  the  ordinances  for  the  purpose  of  excluding  colored  children  from  schools 
attended  by  white  children;  that  the  intention  to  exclude  them  was  not  declared, 
or  that  orders  were  never  issued  to  the  police,  or  that  the  mayor  never  intended  the 
poUce  force  under  his  control  to  do  what  they  did  and  what  he  knew  they  were  doing, 
had  no  tendency  whatever  to  prove  that  the  children  of  the  relator  were  not  excluded 
by  the  respondents  on  account  of  their  race  or  color.  At  the  conclusion  of  the  evidence 
the  attorney  for  the  relator  moved  the  court  to  direct  a  verdict  finding  the  issues  in 
favor  of  the  relator  and  presented  to  the  court  a  written  instruction  for  that  purpose, 
but  the  court  denied  the  motion  and  refused  to  give  the  instruction.  In  so  doing  the 
court  erred,  and  the  error  was  in  a  matter  of  law,  and  contrary  to  the  law  in  this  case 
as  declared  by  this  court  in  previous  opinions  filed  in  the  case. 

The  attorney  for  respondents  says  that  we  ought  to  approve  this  verdict  for  the 
reason  that  the  questions  of  fact  have  been  tried  seven  times  in  the  circuit  court; 
that  the  juries  have  twice  disagreed  and  five  juries  have  decided  in  favor  of  the 
respondents,  and  all  the  trials  have  been  presided  over  by  learned  judges.  Great 
weight  is  justly  given  to  the  conclusion  of  a  jury  upon  controverted  questions  of  fact 
where  the  verdict  appears  to  be  the  result  of  an  honest  exercise  of  judgment  and  the 
weighing,  with  fair  deUberation,  of  the  credibility  of  witnesses,  but  it  is  beyond 
dispute  that  this  verdict,  when  viewed  in  the  most  favorable  hght  for  the  respondents, 
does  not  represent  any  conclusion  of  the  jury  from  the  evidence,  and  that  all  of  the 
verdicts  represent  nothing  but  a  refusal  by  juries  to  enforce  a  law  which  they  do  not 
personally  approve  or  which  is  distasteful  to  them.  In  the  first  opinion  filed  in  this 
case  it  was  said  that  it  might  be  that  the  wisest  of  both  races  believe  that  the  best 
interests  of  each  would  be  promoted  by  voluntary  separation  in  the  public  schools, 
but  that  it  is  no  less  the  duty  of  courts  to  enforce  the  law  as  it  stands,  without  respect 
to  race  or  persons.  We  would  be  remiss  in  our  duty  to  enforce  the  law  and  would 
forfeit  the  respect  of  all  law-abiding  citizens  if  we  should  approve  this  verdict  for  no 
other  reason  than  because  it  is  one  of  a  series  which  represent,  not  the  enforcement 


of  law  or  the  discharge  of  duty,  but  a  deplorable  disregard  for  the  law  and  for  the  rights 
of  citizens.  The  verdicts  have  aU  been  more  offensive  and  dangerous  assaults  upon 
the  law,  the  government,  and  organized  societies,  than  utterances  of  individ- 
uals or  societies  who  are  opposed  to  all  law,  and  which  are  regarded  only  as  the 
sentiments  of  the  ignorant,  depraved  and  vicious  who  are  the  enemies  of  a  gov- 
ernment of  laws.  These  verdicts  were  pronounced,  not  by  those  who  were  avowed 
enemies  of  law  and  government,  but  by  those  who  constituted  a  part  of  the  gov- 
ernmental machinery  for  the  enforcement  of  the  law  and  who  had  been  sworn 
to  discharge  their  duty  in  that  regard.  Such  verdicts  not  only  denote  opposition 
to  the  enforcement  of  the  law,  but  they  also  jeopardize  the  highest  interests  of 
society  and  individuals.  When  the  law,  through  the  refusal  of  jurors  to  regard  their 
oaths,  becomes  impotent  to  protect  the  rights  of  the  humblest,  the  rights  of  no  person 
are  secure;  and  jurors  may  take  heed  that  they  obey  and  enforce  the  law,  lest  their 
refusal  to  enforce  the  law  for  the  protection  of  others  becomes  effective  to  deprive 
them  of  their  legal  rights  and  substitute  the  beUefs  of  jurors  and  courts  as  to  the 
the  wisdom  of  laws  enacted  for  their  protection.  The  error  of  the  court  in  refusing 
to  direct  a  verdict  is  not  obviated  by  the  fact  that  there  have  been  so  many  verdicts 
contrary  to  the  law  and  the  evidence.  The  verdict  must  be  set  aside,  and  the  next 
question  is  whether  the  issues  shall  be  again  sent  to  the  circmt  court  for  trial. 

In  this  case  the  effort  to  obtain  a  fair  trial  of  the  issues  of  fact  before  a  jury  has 
proved  utterly  futile,  and  upon  the  trial  now  under  review  the  court  refused  to  direct 
a  verdict  in  passing  upon  a  question  of  law  raised  by  the  motion  of  the  relator  for  such 
a  direction.  It  is  dear  that  after  so  many  trials  there  can  be  no  further  evidence 
produced  by  either  party  but  that  all  the  evidence  relating  to  the  issues  is  before  us. 
We  are  of  the  opinion  that  it  would  be  a  wrong  to  the  relator  to  further  delay  him  in 
establishing  his  rights  and  to  compel  him  to  add  to  the  trouble  and  expense  already 
incurred  in  an  effort  to  compel  obedience  to  the  law.  The  verdict  of  the  jury  is  set 
aside  and  the  issues  wHl  not  be  again  certified  to  the  circuit  court  for  trial  but  wiU 
now  be  finally  disposed  of.  The  averments  of  the  petition  have  been  fully  proved 
upon  repeated  trials  and  the  evidence  is  preserved  in  the  record.  The  evidence 
produced  by  the  respondents  affords  no  support  to  their  answer. 

We  therefore  find  that  all  the  material  facts  alleged  in  the  petition  are  true  as 
therein  stated  and  that  the  relator  is  entitled  to  a  writ  of  mandamus  as  therein  prayed, 
and  it  is  therefore  ordered  that  a  peremptory  writ  of  mandamus  issue  according  to 
the  prayer  of  the  petition,  that  the. respondents  pay  the  costs,  and  that  execution 
issue  therefor. 


The  public  schools  furnish  one  of  the  most  important  points  of  contact 
between  the  white  and  Negro  races,  because  of  the  actual  number  of  contacts 
in  the  daily  school  life  of  thousands  of  Negro  and  white  children,  and  also 
because  the  reactions  of  young  children  should  indicate  whether  or  not  there 
is  instinctive  race  prejudice. 

The  Chicago  Board  of  Education  makes  no  distmction  between  Negro 
and  white  children.  There  are  no  separate  schools  for  Negroes.  None  of  the 
records  of  any  teacher  or  principal  shows  which  children  are  Negroes  and  which 


white.  The  board  does  not  know  how  many  Negro  children  there  are  in  any 
school  or  in  the  city  at  large,  nor  how  many  of  the  teachers  are  Negroes. 
It  was  impossible  to  obtain  from  the  board,  for  example,  a  list  of  the  schools 
having  a  large  Negro  enrolment  with  which  to  begin  the  investigation.  An 
unfortimate  but  imavoidable  incidental  effect  of  the  investigation  was  the 
focusing  of  attention  of  principals  and  teachers  on  the  Negroes  in  their 

Frequently  white  teachers  in  charge  of  classes  with  Negro  pupils  are  race 
conscious  and  accept  the  conduct  of  white  children  as  normal  and  pay  dis- 
proportionate attention  to  the  conduct  of  Negro  children  as  exceptional  and 
distinctive.  As  a  result  of  the  focusing  of  attention  on  Negro  children,  the 
inquny,  which  was  intended  to  get  balanced  information,  developed  a  dis- 
proportionate amount  of  information  concerning  their  conduct  a.f  compared 
with  that  of  whites.  Teachers  who  considered  both  races  were  inclined  to 
believe  that  Negro  children  as  a  group  had  no  special  weaknesses  that  white 
children  as  a  group  did  not  also  exhibit;  that  some  Negro  children,  like  any 
other  children,  were  good,  some  were  bad,  and  some  indifferent,  and  that  no 
generalizations  about  the  race  could  be  made  from  the  characteristics  or 
attitude  of  a  few. 

It  became  evident  as  soon  as  the  investigation  started  that  it  viras  necessary 
to  distinguish  between  the  northern  and  the  southern  Negro.  The  southern 
Negro  is  conspicuous  the  moment  one  enters  the  elementary  schools.  Over-age 
or  retarded  children  are  found  in  all  the  lower  grades,  special  classes,  and 
ungraded  rooms,  and  are  noticeable  all  the  way  to  the  eight^  grade,  where 
seventeen-  and  nineteen-year-old  children  are  sometimes  fpund.  In  some 
schools  these  children  are  found  in  the  regular  classes;  in.' others  there  are 
special  rooms  for  retarded  children,  and  as  these  groups  ate  often  composed 
ahnost  entirely  of  Negro  children,  there  is  an  appearance  of  segregation  which 
made  necessary  a  study  of  these  retarded  children  from  the  South. 

The  southern  child  is  hampered  first  of  all  by  lack  of  educational  oppor- 
tunity in  the  South.  He  is  usually  retarded  by  two  or  more  years  when  he 
enters  the  northern  school  because  he  has  never  been  able  to  attend  school 
regularly,  due  to  the  short  term  in  southern  rural  schools,  distance  from  school, 
and  inadequacy  of  teaching  force  and  school  equipment.  According  to  a 
report  by  the  United  States  Bureau  of  Education  on  Negro  Education^  90  per 
cent  of  the  Negro  children  between  fifteen  and  twenty  years  of  age  attending 
school  in  the  South  are  over-age.    Says  this  report: 

The  inadequacy  of  the  elementary  school  system  for  colored  children  is  indicated 
both  by  the  comparisons  of  public  appropriations  and  by  the  fact  that  the  attendance 
in  both  pubhc  and  private  schools  is  only  58.1  per  cent  of  the  children  six  to  fourteen 
years  of  age.    The  average  length  of  the  public  school  term  is  less  than  five  months 

'  Negro  Education,  I,  33.  Bulletin  No.  38,  1916.  Department  of  the  Interior,  Bureau 
of  Education.    2  vols. 



in  practically  all  of  the  states.  Most  of  the  school  buildings,  especially  those  in  the 
rural  districts,  are  ia  wretched  condition.  There  is  little  supervision  and  little  effort 
to  improve  the  schools  or  adapt  their  efforts  to  the  needs  of  the  community.  The 
reports  of  the  state  departments  of  Georgia  and  Alabama  indicate  that  70  per  cent 
of  the  colored  teachers  have  third  grade  or  temporary  certificates,  representiag  a 
preparation  less  than  that  usually  given  in  the  first  eight  elementary  grades.  Investi- 
gations made  by  supervisors  of  colored  schools  in  other  states  indicate  that  the 
percentage  of  poorly  prepared  colored  teachers  is  almost  as  high  in  the  other  southern 

The  inadequacy  of  Negro  teachers'  salaries  is  shown  by  the  per  capita 
expenditure  in  six  southern  states  for  each  white  and  Negro  child  between 
six  and  foiurteen  years  of  age.  The  salary  of  the  teacher,  expressed  in  per 
capita  for  each  child,  ranges  from  $5.27  to  $13.79  for  white  pupils  and  from 
$1.44  to  $8.53  for  Negro  pupils.  South  Carolina  pays  its  white  teachers  ten 
times  as  much  as  its  Negro  teachers.  Alabama  pays  its  white  teachers 
about  nine  times  as  much.  In  Kentucky  the  per  capita  for  white  and  colored 
is  about  the  same.^ 

Distribution  of  school  funds  by  counties  indicated  a  decreasing  per  capita 
expenditure  for  the  Negro  as  the  proportion  of  Negroes  in  the  coimty  increased. 
A  table  from  the  Bulletin  shows:' 

County  Groups,  Percentage  of  Negroes 
in  the  Population 

White  School 




Per  Capita 

Per  Capita 



Counties  under  10  per  cent 









Counties  50  to  75  per  cent 

Counties  75  to  100  per  cent 

A  southern  state  superintendent  of  education  is  quoted  in  the  report,  as 

There  has  never  been  any  serious  attempt  in  this  state  to  offer  adequate  educa- 
tional facilities  for  the  colored  race.  The  average  length  of  the  term  for  the  state 
is  only  four  months;  practically  all  of  the  schools  are  taught  in  dilapidated  churches, 
which,  of  course,  are  not  equipped  with  suitable  desks,  blackboards,  and  the  other 
essentials  of  a  school;  practically  all  of  the  teachers  are  incompetent,  possessing 
little  or  no  education  and  having  had  no  professional  training  whatever,  except  a 
few  weeks  obtained  in  the  summer  schools;  the  schools  are  generally  overcrowded, 
some  of  them  having  as  many  as  100  students  to  the  teacher;  no  attempt  is  made  to 
do  more  than  teach  the  children  to  read,  write,  and  figure,  and  these  subjects  are 
learned  very  imperfectly .< 

•  Negro  Editcation,  II,  14. 
"  Ibid.,  I,  23. 

'  Ibid.,  I,  28. 
^  Ibid.  II,  IS. 


Another  difficulty  was  suggested  by  the  principal  of  a  Chicago  school 
(Webster)  where  30  per  cent  of  the  children  are  Negroes,  who  said:  "We 
base  our  educational  ideas  on  certain  backgrounds.  The  curriculum  in  Chicago 
was  planned  for  children  who  come  from  families  who  are  educated.  It 
doesn't  take  children  coming  from  uneducated  families  into  consideration. 
That  isn't  fair  either  to  the  white  or  colored  children." 

The  problem  of  readjustment  to  life  in  a  northern  city  also  affects  the 
child's  school  life,  and  he  is  self-conscious  and  inclined  to  be  either  too  timid 
or  too  self-assertive.  A  Negro  teacher  in  speaking  of  the  difficulties  confronting 
the  southern  Negro,  as  well  as  the  whole  Negro  group,  said: 

The  southern  Negro  has  pushed  the  Chicago  Negro  out  of  his  home,  and  the 
Chicago  Negro  in  seeking  a  new  home  is  opposed  by  the  whites.  What  is  to  happen  ? 
The  whites  are  prejudiced  against  the  whole  Negro  group.  The  Chicago  Negro  is 
prejudiced  against  the  southern  Negro.  Siurely  it  makes  a  difficult  situation  for  the 
southern  Negro.  No  wonder  he  meets  a  word  with  a  blow.  And  aU  this  comes  into 
the  school  more  or  less. 

Another  Negro  teacher  thus  analyzes  further  the  adjustment  problems 
which  tend  to  make  the  Negro  newly  come  from  the  South  unpopular  with 
the  Chicago  Negro,  as  well  as  with  the  whites: 

These  families  from  the  South  usually  come  from  the  country  where  there  are 

no  close  neighbors Then  the  family  is  transplanted  to  Chicago  to  an  apartment 

house,  and  even  in  with  another  famUy.  The  whole  environment  is  changed  and  the 
trouble  begins.  No  sense  of  property  rights,  no  idea  of  how  to  use  conveniences, 
no  idea  of  how  to  live  in  the  new  home,  to  keep  it  up,  to  live  with  everybody  else  so 
near.  On  top  of  that,  the  father  does  not  fit  into  his  work,  and  therefore  cannot 
support  the  family;  the  mother  goes  out  to  work,  and  what  is  the  result?    Poorly 

kept  houses  and  poorly  kept  children A  normal  home  shows  itself  in  the  school, 

and  poor  home  conditions  show  up  still  more. 

The  Negro  child  bom  in  the  North  is  not  found  to  an  unusual  extent 
among  the  retarded  children.  He  has  been  able  to  enter  school  on  time  and 
to  attend  the  fuU  term  of  nine  months;  his  teachers  compare  favorably  with 
those  in  white  American  and  foreign  neighborhoods,  and  his  parents  as  a  rule 
have  a  better  background.  Many  teachers  say  that  the  progress  of  northern- 
born  Negroes  compares  very  favorably  with  that  of  whites. 


Since  the  Board  of  Education  keeps  no  record  of  Negro  children  as  such, 
it  could  not  furnish  a  list  of  the  schools  having  a  percentage  of  Negro  children. 
Therefore  a  list  was  made  up  of  all  the  schools  in  the  Negro  residential  areas, 
the  boundaries  of  these  schools  were  obtained  from  the  Board  of  Education, 
and  the  percentage  of  Negroes  in  each  school  district  was  worked  out  from  the 
1920  census  figures.  ^The  schools  listed  in  Table  X  were  foimd  to  be  situated 



in  districts  where  the  Negro  population  was  lo  per  cent  or  more.  The  figures 
at  the  right  show  the  approximate  percentage  of  Negro  children  in  the  school, 
as  given  by  the  principal  of  the  school. 

Fuller  School  is  a  branch  of  Felsenthal  and  has  the  same  principal;  it  is 
in  a  neighborhood  where  the  percentage  of  Negroes  is  practically  the  same  as 
in  the  neighborhoods  around  Felsenthal,  but  there  is  a  very  great  difference 


Schools  in  Districts  Having  an  Average  Negro  Population 
or  10  Per  Cent  or  More 







Emerson  (branch  of  Hayes) . 


Felsenthal. .  .*. 


Fuller  (branch  of  Felsenthal) 

Haven ~ 




Mann  (branch  of  Raymond) . 








Percentage  of 

Ne^oes  in 








Percentage  of 

Ne^ro  Children 

in  School 







in  the  percentage  of  Negro  children  in  the  two  schools,  according  to  figures 
given  by  the  principal.  It  appears  from  this  that  the  principal,  who  is  a 
believer  in  separate  schools,  places  the  large  majority  of  the  Negro  children 
in  Fuller  School.  Negroes  in  the  vicinity  say  that  Fuller  School  is  run  down 
and  neglected,  that  the  staff  of  teachers  is  below  the  average,  that  the  school 
has  no  playground  of  its  own  but  must  use  the  one  at  Felsenthal,  and  that  aU 
the  immanageable  children  are  sent  there  from  Felsenthal.  It  is  also  believed 
by  these  Negroes  that  Fuller  is  used  as  a  feeder  for  the  other  schools  iu  the 
neighborhoods  where  there  are  fewer  Negro  children. 

The  points  in  regard  to  physical  equipment  stressed  by  a  district  super- 
intendent in  the  area  containing  the  largest  number  of  schools  attended 
mainly  by  Negroes  were:  date  of  erection,  an  assembly  hall  located  on  the 
main  floor,  gymnasium,  and,  in  the  congested  districts,  bathroom  and  lunch- 
room.   Table  XI  shows  such  facts  concerning  these  scIi\ols. 

O     9 

K  < 



It  wiU  be  noted  that  only  five  of  these  schools,  or  23  per  cent,  were  built 
since  1900,  and  four  of  these  five  are  in  sections  where  the  Negro  population 
is  less  than  25  per  cent.  The  ten  schools  serving  the  largest  percentage  of 
Negroes  were  built,  one  in  1856,  one  in  1867,  seven  between  1880  and  1889, 
and  one  between  1890  and  1899.  Of  the  235  white  schools  133,  or  56  per  cent, 
were  built  after  1899. 

Physical  Equipment  of  Twenty-two  Schools  Attended  Largely  by  Negroes* 


Date  of 


Location  of 
Assembly  Hall 




Colman. . . , 
Copernicus . 



Emerson. . 


FelsentiiaL , 


Haven . 

Hayes.  ... 





Oakland.  .  . 
Raymond. . 
Sherwood. . 
Tennyson.  . 


Willard.  .  . 





First  floor 
Third  floor 
Third  floor 

TUrd  floor 
Third  floor 
First  floor 

Fourth  floor 
Fourth  floor 

Third  floor 
First  floor 
Third  floor 
Third  floor 
First  floor 



































































*  Data  obtained  from  Directory  of  the  Public  Schools  of  the  City  of  Chicago,  ipig-ao,  published  by  the  Board  of 

Assembly  haUs  and  g3annasiums  were  totally  lacking  in  seven  of  the 
twenty-two  schools,  and  in  the  remaining  fifteen  the  assembly  haU  was  on  the 
third  or  fourth  floor,  where,  according  to  the  district  superintendent,  it 
cannot  have  maximimi  use  for  community  purposes.  A  really  useful  assembly 
hall,  he  stated,  should  be  on  the  ground  floor,  opening  directly  on  the  school 
yard,  and  capable  of  being  shut  off  entirely  from  the  rest  of  the  building  so 
that  it  could  be  lighted  and  heated  separately  for  evening  gatherings.  Only 
three  of  these  fifteen  schools  had  separate  gymnasiums.  In  the  others  the 
gymnasium  was  combined  with  the  assembly  hall.  There  was  little  in  the 
way  of  apparatus;  what  there  was  consisted  mainly  of  hand  apparatus,  includ- 
ing clubs,  dumbbells  and  basket-balls,  that  could  be  used  in  the  assembly  hall 
or  the  corridors.  The  district  superintendent  emphasized  the  need  for  gym- 
nasiums in  Negro  residential  areas  because  the  children  were  weak  physically 
and  needed  special  exercises. 


Playground  space  for  schools  attended  largely  by  Negroes  compares 
favorably  with  that  for  schools  attended  largely  by  whites,  though  Douglas 
School  (92  per  cent  Negro),  with  1,513  pupils,  has  only  one  playground  96X 125 
feet.  Most  schools  have  two  playgrounds,  one  for  boys  and  one  for  girls. 
The  only  other  school  having  such  limited  play  space  as  Douglas  is  a  foreign 
school.  Von  Humboldt,  where  there  are  2,500  pupUs  and  the  playground  is 
50X100  feet.  Like  Douglas,  this  is  a  double  school  with  inadequate  space 
for  the  children  inside  the  school  and  outside.  Sometimes  there  is  a  public 
playground  near  by  which  reUeves  the  congestion  on  the  school  playground 
except  in  the  case  of  Keith  School  (90  per  cent  Negro),  the  principal  of  which 
emphasized  the  need  for  a  playground  near  her  school. 

In  a  group  of  twenty-four  schools,  six  of  which  are  attended  mainly  by 
Negroes,  six  mainly  by  white  Americans,  and  twelve  mainly  by  children  of 
immigrants,  it  was  found  that  there  was  no  unusual  crowding  of  classrooms 
in  those  attended  mainly  by  Negroes  except  in  the  case  of  Douglas  School. 
Conditions  were  practically  the  same  in  the  three  groups  of  schools. 

Indications  of  overcrowding  are  the  average  number  of  seats  in  a  class- 
room, the  average  niunber  of  pupils  per  teacher,  and  the  double-school  or  shift 
system.  There  is  little  variation  among  the  three  groups  of  schools  in  the 
number  of  seats  in  the  classroom  and  the  number  of  pupils  to  each  teacher, 
except  that  the  school  having  the  largest  number  of  pupils  to  each  teacher 
(57)  is  Cohnan,  92  per  cent  Negro.  Although  there  are  no  double  schools 
in  the  group  attended  mainly  by  white  Americans,  one  of  the  six  schools 
attended  mainly  by  Negroes  and  five  of  the  schools  attended  mainly  by  children 
of  immigrants  are  double  schools.  Under  this  system,  which  is  a  makeshift 
in  a  neighborhood  where  another  school  is  needed  to  take  care  of  the  children, 
the  children  go  to  school  in  two  shifts,  one  shift  an  hour  later  than  the 
other,  and  leave  correspondingly  later  in  the  afternoon.  Under  this  arrange- 
ment more  children  are  at  the  school  during  the  major  part  of  the  day  than 
can  be  seated  in  the  classroom  and  the  full  school  curriculum  can  be  carried  on 
only  under  pressure,  as  one  group  of  children  must  always  be  hiurried  on  be- 
fore the  next  group  appears. 


Information  as  to  problems  of  contact  in  the  schools  was  gathered  from 
conferences  to  which  the  principals  of  high  and  elementary  schools  were  invited, 
and  by  personal  visits  to  the  schools.  Thhteen  elementary  schools  were  visited, 
seven  of  which  had  an  enrolment  of  less  than  50  per  cent  Negro,  and  six  of 
which  had  an  enrolment  of  more  than  50  per  cent  Negro.  The  schools  with 
the  smaller  percentage  were:  Drake  (30),'  Felsenthal  (20),  Forrestville  (38), 

'  The  figures  after  the  name  of  the  school  throughout  this  section  refer  to  the  percentage 
of  Negro  children  in  the  school  in  1919-20. 


Haven  (20),  Oakland  (26),  Webster)  (30),  and  Kenwood  (a  very  small 
number  of  Negroes).  The  schools  having  a  majority  Negro  were  Cohnan 
(92),  Doolittle  (85),  Douglas  (93),  Farren  (92),  Keith  (90),  and  Moseley  (70). 

The  high  schools  visited  were  Englewood,  Hyde  Park,  and  Wendell  Phillips. 
In  Englewood  and  Hyde  Park  the  percentage  of  Negroes  was  very  small, 
while  in  Wendell  Phillips  the  Negro  children  were  about  56  per  cent  of  the  enrol- 

The  opinions  of  principals  and  teachers  about  Negro  children  are  a  cross- 
section  of  public  opinion  on  the  race  question  with  all  its  contradictions  and 
irritations.  It  must  therefore  be  borne  in  mind  in  reading  this  section  on  school 
contacts  that  whether  Negro  children  are  reported  good  or  bad,  bright  or  dull, 
quarrelsome  or  amiable,  whether  antagonism  and  voluntary  grouping  or  their 
lack  are  reported,  there  is  an  inevitable  tendency  for  the  teacher  to  see  the 
facts  in  the  Hght  of  any  prejudice  or  general  views  she  may  have  on  race 

It  was  thought,  for  example,  that  for  the  purposes  of  this  discussion  the 
schools  could  be  put  in  two  general  groups:  those  with  less  than  50  per  cent 
Negroes  and  those  with  more  than  50  per  cent  Negroes.  But  it  was  immedi- 
ately apparent  that  no  generalizations  could  be  made  on  the  basis  of  the  percent- 
age of  Negro  children  in  the  schools,  because  sometimes  two  principals  of 
schools  having  the  same  proportion  of  Negro  pupils  reported  widely  different 
experience  with  reference  to  friction;  and  in  some  cases  principals  of  schools 
with  a  small  percentage  of  Negroes  reported  friction,  while  other  principals 
of  schools  with  a  larger  percentage  reported  harmonious  relations.  The  most 
important  factor  determining  the  attitude  of  the  teachers  in  a  school  was 
invariably  the  attitude  of  the  principal.  Though  there  were  many  cases  where 
individual  teachers  held  views  entirely  different  from  those  of  the  principal, 
yet  the  attitude  of  the  principal  was  usually  reflected  in  the  expressed  opinion 
of  the  teachers  and  in  the  atmosphere  of  the  school. 

But  there  is  no  explanatio^for  total  disagreement  between  two  teachers  in 
the  same  school  as  to  whether  or  not  there  is  race  friction  in  the  school 
except  difference  in  points  of  view  on  the  race  problem.  This  factor  is  to  be 
taken  into  consideration  in  weighing  the  testimony  of  teachers  regarding 
school  contacts  of  the  races. 

The  attitude  of  some  of  the  principals  and  teachers  was  revealed  in  their 
fear  that  their  schools,  with  20  per  cent  or  30  per  cent  Negro  children,  would 
be  regarded  as  largely  Negro  schools.  The  principal  of  a  school  with  30  per 
cent  Negro  children  considered  it  an  insult  to  be  asked  to  have  his  school 
take  part  in  a  song  festival  with  schools  largely  attended  by  Negroes.  A 
teacher  in  a  school  26  per  cent  Negro  was  much  incensed  because  the  Board 
of  Education  had  sent  Negroes  to  the  school  to  talk  to  the  children  on  cleaning 
up  the  neighborhood.  She  said  that  the  white  children  did  not  seem  to  mind 
and  listened  interestedly;  it  was  the  teachers  who  considered  it  an  outrage 


that  Negroes  should  come  to  "  tell  a  commmiity  seven-eighths  white  to  clean 

Since  the  elementary  schools  and  high  schools  present  rather  different 
problems,  due  to  the  greater  nimiber  of  social  activities  in  the  latter,  it  was 
decided  to  consider  the  two  groups  separately. 


The  contacts  in  the  elementary  schools  faU  naturally  under  three  heads: 
classroom  contacts,  building  and  playground  contacts,  and  social  contacts. 

Classroom  contacts. — There  was  much  less  variety  of  opinion  in  regard  to 
classroom  contacts  than  the  other  two.  Most  teachers  agreed  that  there  was 
little  friction  so  far  as  school  work  was  concerned,  eveh  when  it  meant  sitting 
next  to  one  another  or  in  the  same  seats.  Most  kindergarten  teachers  found 
the  most  natural  relationship  existing  between  the  young  Negro  and  white 
children.  "  Neither  colored  nor  whites  have  any  feeling  in  our  kindergarten, " 
said  one  principal  in  a  school  30  per  cent  Negro  (Webster);  "they  don't 
understand  the  difference  between  colored  and  white  children."  In  visiting 
one  school  the  investigator  noticed  that  the  white  children  who  objected  to 
holding  hands  with  the  Negro  children  in  the  kindergarten  and  first  and 
second  grades  were  the  better-dressed  children  who  imdoubtedly  reflected  the 
economic  class  and  race  consciousness  of  their  parents.  The  Armour  Mission 
near  the  school  had  excluded  Negroes  from  its  kindergarten,  thereby  fostering 
this  spirit  among  the  whites.  A  teacher  in  DooHttle  (85  per  cent)  told  of  a 
little  white  girl  in  another  school  who  cried  because  she  was  afraid  the  color 
from  the  Negro  children's  hands  would  rub  off  on  hers;  in  her  present  school 
she  has  known  no  such  instances  in  the  kindergarten.  This  conduct  is  paral- 
leled in  instances  in  which  Negro  children  who  have  never  had  any  contact 
with  white  children  in  the  South  are  afraid  of  them  when  they  first  come 

Most  of  the  teachers  in  the  higher  grades  reported  that  there  were  no  signs 
of  race  prejudice  in  the  room.  A  teacher  at  Oakland  (26  per  cent)  said  that 
white  girls  sometimes  asked  to  be  moved  to  another  seat  when  near  a  very 
dirty  Negro  child,  but  that  this  often  happened  when  the  dirty  child  was  white.' 
This  teacher  said  it  was  the  white  mothers  from  the  South,  not  the  children, 
who  wanted  their  children  to  be  kept  away  from  the  Negroes.  "The  white 
children  don't  seem  to  mind  the  colored,"  she  said.  "I  have  had  three  or 
four  mothers  come  in  and  ask  that  their  children  be  kept  away  from  the  colored, 
but  they  were  women  from  the  South  and  felt  race  prejudice  strongly.  But 
they  are  the  only  ones  who  have  complclined." 

A  teacher  in  a  school  90  per  cent  Negro  said  that  when  doubling  up  in 
the  seats  was  necessary  whites  and  Negroes  frequently  chose  each  other. 
A  teacher  at  Moseley  (70  per  cent),  when  the  investigator  was  present,  called 


upon  a  white  girl  to  act  as  hostess  to  a  Negro  girl  who  had  just  come  from  the 
South,  and  the  request  was  met  with  pride  and  pleasure  by  the  white  girl. 
On  the  same  occasion  a  white  boy  was  asked  to  help  a  Negro  boy  with  his 
arithmetic,  and  the  two  doubled  up  and  worked  together  quite  naturally. 

"Race  makes  no  difference,"  declared  the  principal  of  a  school  92  per  cent 
Negro  (Colman).  "The  other  day  I  had  them  all  digging  in  the  garden,  and 
when  they  were  all  ready  to  go  in  I  kept  out  one  colored  boy  to  help  me  plant 
seeds.  We  could  use  another  boy,  so  I  told  Henry  to  choose  anyone  out  of 
two  rooms  and  he  returned  with  an  Itahan.  The  color  makes  no  differ- 

A  few  instances  of  jealousy  are  cited.  In  one  of  them  resentment  ran 
high  because  when  a  loving  cup  was  presented  in  McKinley  (70  per  cent)  for 
the  best  composition,  it  was  awarded  by  a  neutral  outside  jury  to  a  white  girl. 
The  principal  of  this  70  per  cent  Negro  school,  in  addition  to  finding  the 
Negro  children  jealous,  considered  their  parents  insolent  and  resentful.  On 
the  investigator's  first  visit  she  said  that  military  discipline  was  the  only  kind 
for  children,  and  that  absolute  segregation  was  necessary.  At  the  next  inter- 
view she  said  she  preferred  her  school  to  any  other;  that  there  was  never  any 
disciplinary  difficulty,  and  that  white  children  who  had  moved  from  the  district 
were  paying  car  fare  to  finisli  their  course  at  her  school. 

Discipline. — ^There  was  considerable  variety  of  opinion  among  the  teachers 
as  to  whether  Negro  children  presented  any  special  problems  of  discipline. 
The  principal  of  a  school  20  per  cent  Negro  (Felsenthal),  for  example,  said  that 
discipline  was  more  difficult  in  this  school  than  in  the  branch  where  90  per 
cent  were  Negroes  (Fuller).  This  principal  is  an  advocate  of  separate  schools. 
She  was  contradicted  by  a  teacher  in  her  school  who  said  she  had  never  used 
different  discipline  for  the  Negroes.  In  schools  where  the  principals  were 
sympathetic  and  the  interracial  spirit  good  the  teachers  reported  that  Negro 
children  were  much  like  other  children  and  could  be  disciplined  in  the  same 
way.  One  or  two  teachers  reported  that  Negro  children  could  not  be  scolded 
but  must  be  "  joUied  along  "  and  the  work  presented  as  play.  This  is  interesting 
in  view  of  the  frequent  complaint  of  the  children  from  the  South  that  the 
teachers  in  Chicago  played  with  them  all  the  time  and  did  not  teach  them 

Attittide  toward  Negro  teachers. — Few  Negro  teachers  were  found  in  the 
schools  investigated. 

At  Doolittle  (85  per  cent)  there  were  thirty-three  teachers,  of  whom  two 
were  Negroes.  There  was  also  a  Negro  cadet.  At  Raymond  (93  per  cent) 
there  were  six